Saturday, June 30, 2007

WORD A DAY

PUTRID: 1a: rotten b: foul 2a: morally corrupt b: totally objectionable

Can you sniff out another adjective that describes a less than pleasant odor? If "malodorous" comes to mind, you've got a good nose for synonyms. But malodorous smells aren't always as bad as putrid ones; they can range from merely unpleasant to really offensive. It "putrid" and "malodorous" don't seem quite right, try "noisome," which suggests that something is harmful as well as bad-smelling. "Fusty" and "musty" are used for things that are dirty, wet, or lacking in fresh air and sunlight. For a real stinker, go with "fetid," a word for smells that are truly foul or disgusting.

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