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what word means to overwhelm the sense of smell in the way that "deafen" overwhelms the sense of hearing or how "blinding" overwhlelms the send of sight?

asked 2015-04-17 09:19:10 -0500

kimwright gravatar image

What word means to overwhelm the sense of smell in the way that "deafen" overwhelms the sense of hearing or how "blinding" overwhelms the sense of sight?

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Thank you for your kind words. I was talking to my wife the other day and it occurred to me that there is no word for a "blinding odor" or a "deafening stench". Thinking on this, I wondered if there might, in fact be some descriptor that may fill in the apparently missing word. Thanks for your help

kimwright gravatar imagekimwright ( 2015-04-21 07:46:41 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-04-17 18:38:29 -0500

usagi5886 gravatar image

While it might at first seem to be an accidental semantic gap, there actually appear to be plenty of words with such a meaning:

Positive connotation: fragrant, odiferous, redolent

Negative connotation: pungent, acrid, reeking, fetid, rank, minging, pongy, miasmic, mephitic, noisome, olid

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answered 2015-05-05 14:35:29 -0500

Hello. I would say the most formulaic association for me is "overpowering" - an overpowering smell. Deafening noise or blinding sunshine, etc. Does this sound right?

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answered 2015-04-19 00:26:50 -0500

A S Sundar gravatar image

Google search turned out these synonyms for 'smelly'-- foul-smelling, evil-smelling, stinking, stinking to high heaven, reeking, fetid, malodorous, pungent, acrid, rank, putrid, noxious; off, gamy, high; musty, fusty; frowsty; fresh; informal stinky, reeky; informal niffing, niffy, pongy, whiffy, humming; informal funky; literary noisome, mephitic; rareolid, miasmic, miasmal

                                            I am sure one of these synonyms can be used to describe the overwhelming sense of smell.Basically I feel the sense of hearing and the sense of smell are not comparable and so a word equivalent to "deafening noise" might not have been coined.  A overpowering sense of smell,comparable to 'deafening' does not occur normally.While a 'deafening' noise appears suddenly and goes off in no time,'smell' always stays for some time,before it wanes off.'Blinding'is also a fleeting event.
                It is interesting to note that Tamil has a word "nattram" which connotes a strong sense of smell.But again an adjective describing the smell like good or bad is prefixed in the usage of the word."ketta nattram" is bad smell.
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Asked: 2015-04-17 09:19:10 -0500

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Last updated: May 05 '15