scent(redirected from scents)
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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.
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.
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.
throw (someone or an animal) off (of) somethingand 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.
throw someone or something off (of) somethingand 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.
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.
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)
throw off somethingalso 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
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.
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.
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]
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]
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.