A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Smel(l, v. [ME and e.m.E. smelle(n (a1200), smulle(n (c1200), smel (Cursor M.), unrecorded in OE.]

1. tr. To perceive, apprehend a smell; to smell (a plant). Of ane herbe … he feld … sa fragrant … That [etc.] … Ane lytill efter he smellit ane nothire; Seven S. 731.
I ressauit confort naturall … Smelling the holsum herbis medicinall; Lynd. Mon. 134.
He pullit the herb … And … the sawer thairof did smell; Rolland Seven S. 5668.

2. fig. To perceive, discern or comprehend as if by smell; to detect, suspect, divine. When I sall haif opportunyte to speik with your ladyship ye sall vnderstand what I smell of the warld; 1569–70 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 651/1.
Christ, smelling the pridefull ambitioun that was likelie to enter among his apostles [etc.]; 1584 Calderwood IV 134.
I neuir smeld sic luiflie recompance; J. Stewart 98/191.
I haif insert ane pairt of the said fourtene chapter in Latine, smelland the phrase of thay dayis; Charteris Wall. Pref. I72.
I … smellit that he wald neuir geiv over that hous to be torterit; 1614 Melrose P. 182.
I think you to nosvyse that has smellid your fathers avarice and falsety so far aff; 1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II 255.
He smeled I was a Calvinist; 1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 12.
1689 Leven & Melv. P. 91.
I evidently smell wearying of your lordship by some and jealousie in others and drawing up, with some who are none of your friends; 1690 Leven & Melv. P. 391.

3. intr. To give off or exhale an odour. The morow myld wes … and the meid smellit; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 514.
Ane hundreth altaris … smellyng sweit with fresch garlandis of flowris; Doug. i vi 186.
Euerie blume … In Mayis cullour cled … Sum drapping Of balmie liquor sweit, Destelling and smelling Throw Phebus helsum heit; Montg. Ch. & Slae 41 (L).
Both moli and the balme shall smell; Craig ii 156.
A temple … Whose altars … With cassia, myrrhe, and cynamome do smell; Mure Dido & Æneas i 480.

4. fig. To appear in a particular fashion; to give a particular impression, esp. of something; to suggest, hint, indicate. (1) Thys proloug smellis new cum furth of hell; Doug. vii Prol. 163.
Ane sacrifice Christ anis, thairfoir, Offerit to God, quhilk smellit best; G. Ball. 172.
Make all thine actions to smell weill in his nose; R. Bruce Serm. 121.
(2) Vther vicis … quhairin all men ar fallin smelling of the lomp corruptit in Adam; Gathering of the Halie Signes 7b.
He smelled of the new doctrin; Knox I 48.
The law … Of ouir greit arrogance dois smell; 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 668.
Thy reasonis sawres of reik … Thy sentences of swit richt sweitlie smellis; Polwart Flyt. 685 (T).
It becummis best … euerie aage to smell of the auin qualitie; James VI Basil. Doron 196/8.
And that in the perambulatione betuix Schir Petir … and the abot and conuent of Arbrothok [etc.] … thear is yit ane aker of land quhilk does swmquhat smel of this matter, quhilk is yit callit the Monkes Aker; 1611 Reg. Panmure I xcii.
Going silent at midnicht to the watter and in bringing thairof … to wasch Andro Duncaneis bairne quhilk smellis of socerie; 1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 8 Sept.
The way, that is … compartner with the smoke of this fat world … smelleth strong of a foul and false way; 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1675) i 341.
Quhilkis seuerall places of meiting smellit of miscontentment; Spalding II 225.
Sic solistatioun … smellis, vnfenȝeitlie, To verray percialytie; Lauder Off. Kings 431.

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"Smel(l v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/smell_v>



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