smell of (something)

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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. © 2015 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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References in classic literature ?
It was partly the raven colour of the pine-woods; but partly also an indescribable atmosphere almost described in Scott's great tragedy; the smell of something that died in the eighteenth century; the smell of dank gardens and broken urns, of wrongs that will never now be righted; of something that is none the less incurably sad because it is strangely unreal.
Flora had 'gone to lie down' in the next room, concurrently with which retirement a smell of something to drink had broken out in the house.
However, when we notice a smell of something burning the brain enters a warning state so that we integrate and analyse all the information available to make fast decisions.
Signs of a fire may be present around you, like the appearance of a haze, the smell of something burning, and even a panicked crowd trying to exit the building.
The maid told her that there was smell of something burning.
Animals go on the smell of something. If you're coming up to a horse, you want it to sniff you before it trusts you."
In this story, we learn how death can also be a slight refreshing breeze, or a hyena patrolling the African plain, or the neat flicker of a flame, or the grotesque smell of something rotten, or even the family dog's simple desire to acknowledge its owner.
She usually doesn't move from my side but she got a smell of something.
It work's beautifully as a whole and is very much the smell of something that's intentionally and rigorously engineered.
7:27 a.m., firefighters responded to the middle/high school regarding the smell of something burning.
Firefighters said there was a smell of something flammable in there."
You close your eyes and in the push of the breeze there's the wail and chant of singers and this fusty shoreline holds in it the smell of something ancient, something timeless, eternal, articulate, significant, and vast.
One Sunday afternoon, Tommy was kicking a ball against the wall of the backyard when he noticed a smell of something burning.
Some passengers reported the smell of something burning.