smell a rat


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Related to smell a rat: under the weather, until the cows come home, rattle cage, out of steam, blew off steam, Idioms

smell a rat

to suspect that something is wrong; to sense that someone has caused something wrong. I don't think this was an accident. I smell a rat. Bob had something to do with this. The minute I came in, I smelled a rat. Sure enough, I had been robbed.
See also: rat, smell

smell a rat

Suspect something is wrong, especially a betrayal of some kind. For example, When I didn't hear any more from my prospective employer, I began to smell a rat. This expression alludes to a cat sniffing out a rat. [c. 1550]
See also: rat, smell

smell a rat

INFORMAL
COMMON If you smell a rat, you believe that something is wrong in a particular situation, especially that someone is trying to deceive you or harm you. Once Caldere discovers the money is missing, he's going to smell a rat, isn't he? If only I'd thought it through, I'd have smelt a rat straight away and never touched the proposal.
See also: rat, smell

smell a rat

begin to suspect trickery or deception. informal
See also: rat, smell

ˌsmell a ˈrat

(informal) think or suspect that something is wrong or that somebody is trying to deceive you: She says that the business is making a lot of money, but I smell a rat somewhere. The figures are too good to be true.
See also: rat, smell

smell a rat

tv. to suspect that something is wrong. Keep everything normal. I don’t want her to smell a rat. She has never had a surprise party before.
See also: rat, smell

smell a rat

Slang
To suspect that something is wrong.
See also: rat, smell