scent

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put a dog off the scent

to distract a dog from trailing the scent of someone or an animal. The odor of a skunk put the dogs off the scent.
See also: dog, off, put, scent

put someone off the scent

Fig. to distract someone or a group from following a scent or trail. (From put a dog off the scent; the scent or trail can be purely figurative. (See also put someone off the track.) The clever maneuvers of the bandits put the sheriffs posse off the scent. The mob laundered the drug money to try to put investigators off the trail.
See also: off, put, scent

throw someone off

to interrupt and confuse someone; to mislead someone. The interruption threw me off, and I lost my place in the speech. Little noises throw me off. Please try to be quiet. Your comment threw me off.
See also: off, throw

throw (someone or an animal) off (of) something

 and throw someone or an animal off
to divert or confuse someone or an animal away from something, such as the scent, track, or trail. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) She put a little detail in her story to throw the cops off of her trail. The diversion threw off the investigation.
See also: off, throw

throw someone or something off (of) something

 and throw someone or something off
to cast someone or something off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The character in the movie wanted to throw the heroine off a cliff. He went to the middle of the bridge and threw off the gun used in the shooting.
See also: off, throw

throw something off

 
1. Lit. to cast something, such as a coat, off one's body. He threw his jacket off and dived into the icy water. He threw off his jacket.
2. Fig. to resist or recover from a disease. It was a bad cold, but I managed to throw it off in a few days. I can't seem to throw off my cold. I've had it for weeks.
3. Fig. to emit or give off an odor. The small animal threw a strong odor off. The flowers threw off a heavy perfume.
See also: off, throw

throw somebody off the scent

to give someone false or confusing information so that they will not discover something The police were thrown off the scent for a while by two of the witnesses, who were found later to be lying.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of throw a dog off the scent (to cause a dog to lose the smell that leads it to a person or animal)
See also: off, scent, throw

throw off something

also throw something off
to quickly remove something The boys threw off their clothes and jumped into the lake. Dad threw the cover off and there was a beautiful new bike - just for me!
Opposite of: throw on something
See also: off, throw

put/throw somebody off the scent

if you throw someone off the scent, you give them false or confusing information to try to stop them discovering something
Usage notes: A scent is a smell produced by an animal which can act as a signal to other animals trying to find or follow it.
The police were thrown off the scent for a while by false evidence given by two of the witnesses.
See also: off, put, scent

scent blood

to believe that someone you are competing against is having difficulties or problems and to use this to get an advantage for yourself The manager has already made some serious errors of judgement and it is clear that other employees scent blood.
See also: blood, scent

throw off

1. Cast out, rid oneself of, as in He threw off all unpleasant memories and went to the reunion. [Early 1600s]
2. Give off, emit, as in The garbage was throwing off an awful smell. [First half of 1700s] Also see throw out, def. 1.
3. Also, throw or put off the scent . Distract, divert, or mislead, as in A mistaken estimate threw off her calculations, or These clues were designed to throw the detective off the scent. The variant comes from hunting, where the quarry may try to put pursuing hounds off the scent. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s. Also see off the track.
4. Perform in a quick, spontaneous, or casual manner, as in He threw off one sketch after another. [Mid-1700s]
See also: off, throw

wrong scent, on the

On a false trail or track, as in He managed to put the police on the wrong scent and got away. This term alludes to hunting with hounds. [c. 1600]
See also: on, wrong

throw off

v.
1. To hurl or fling someone or something off with great force or speed: The horse threw the cowboy off. The running back threw off the tackle.
2. To remove some clothing hastily or carelessly: I entered my apartment and threw my coat off. We threw off our jackets in the hallway.
3. To cast something out; rid oneself of something: I threw off all the unpleasant memories of my childhood. We threw our grudges off in order to move on.
4. To give something off; emit something: The exhaust pipes threw off fumes. The chimney throws soot off.
5. To distract, divert, or mislead someone or something: The scent threw off the dogs. A wrong measurement threw her estimate off.
6. To do, finish, or accomplish something in a casual or offhand way; toss something off: I threw off a quick response to the letter I'd received.
7. To stop the operation, activity, or flow of something controlled by a flip switch: After the meeting, I told them to throw off the lights. You can throw the current off the back porch with this switch.
See also: off, throw
References in classic literature ?
And then he traversed the room like a hound on the scent, skimming the walls, considering the corners of the bulging matting on his hands and knees, rummaging mantel and tables, the curtains and hangngs, the drunken cabinet in the corner, for a visible sign, unable to perceive that she was there beside, around, against, within, above him, clinging to him, wooing him, calling him so poignantly through the finer senses that even his grosser ones became cognisant of the call.
Is there any possible way of guessing approximately how long a scent will remain?
Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever.
Yes, you are right, Porthos, the dogs are on a scent.
Presently the body scent of the deer told Tarzan that his prey was close at hand.
As clearly as though he had seen her with his eyes, Tarzan knew that the lioness had caught the scent of the freshly killed pigs and immediately had moved down wind in their direction.
The wind was blowing off the ocean, so Tarzan knew that the authors of the scent were west of him.
But Michael was long in giving over his search for Steward, and, running the mountain trails or scrambling and sliding down into the deep canyons, was ever expectant and ready for Steward to step forth before him, or to pick up the unmistakable scent that would lead him to him.
I laughed on the way home, and I laughed again for sheer satisfaction when we reached the garden and drove between the quiet trees to the pretty old house; and when I went into the library, with its four windows open to the moonlight and the scent, and looked round at the familiar bookshelves, and could hear no sounds but sounds of peace, and knew that here I might read or dream or idle exactly as I chose with never a creature to disturb me, how grateful I felt to the kindly Fate that has brought me here and given me a heart to understand my own blessedness, and rescued me from a life like that I had just seen--a life spent with the odours of other people's dinners in one's nostrils, and the noise of their wrangling servants in one's ears, and parties and tattle for all amusement.
As he neared the river, the leader paused often, cocking his ears and raising his muzzle to sniff the gentle breeze for the tell-tale scent spoor of the dread flesh-eaters.
What mattered it to her just than that the rushes had begun to fade, and to lose all their scent and beauty, from the very moment that she picked them?
This half-crown the landlord no sooner got scent of, than he opened after it with such vehement and persuasive outcry, that the boy was soon overcome, and consented to take half-a-crown more for his stay.
On the last Tuesday but one of the half-year he was passing through the hall after dinner, when he was hailed with shouts from Tadpole and several other fags seated at one of the long tables, the chorus of which was, "Come and help us tear up scent.
When he was dressed, Stepan Arkadyevitch sprinkled some scent on himself, pulled down his shirt-cuffs, distributed into his pockets his cigarettes, pocketbook, matches, and watch with its double chain and seals, and shaking out his handkerchief, feeling himself clean, fragrant, healthy, and physically at ease, in spite of his unhappiness, he walked with a slight swing on each leg into the dining-room, where coffee was already waiting for him, and beside the coffee, letters and papers from the office.
The hound knows the scent, but seems to be a little at a loss, too.