smell of (something)

smell of (something)

1. To have the odor of something due to its presence. You want to add just enough so that the soup smells a bit of mint, without overpowering the actual flavor. Ugh, this room smells of wet dog.
2. To have an odor that is very like or suggestive of something. This peculiar flower smells of rotting flesh to attract flies and beetles as pollinators. Their candles smell of very unusual things, such as cheese or steak.
3. To be strikingly reminiscent or suggestive of something; to give a strong indication or implication of something. Their whole PR statement about the firing smells of corporate greed and incompetence. The judge's sudden reversal of his decision smells of bribery, if you ask me. The way she talked to him smelled of arrogance.
See also: of, smell
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

smell of something

to have the smell of something; to smell like something. This house smells of onions. Her cooking always smells of entirely too much garlic.
See also: of, smell
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

smell of

1. To have an odor suggesting that something or someone is or has been present: The locker room smells of soap and sweat.
2. To be suggestive of something; have a tinge or hint of something: The dark cave smells of terror.
See also: of, smell
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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