scent / sent/ • n. a distinctive smell, esp. one that is pleasant: the scent of freshly cut hay. ∎ pleasant-smelling liquid worn on the skin; perfume: she sprayed scent over her body. ∎ a trail indicated by the characteristic smell of an animal and perceptible to hounds or other animals: the hound followed the scent. ∎ fig. a trail of evidence or other signs assisting someone in a search or investigation: once their interest is aroused, they follow the scent with sleuthlike pertinacity.• v. [tr.] 1. (usu. be scented with) impart a pleasant scent to: a glass of tea scented with lemon balm [as adj.] (scented) scented soap. 2. discern by the sense of smell: a shark can scent blood from well over half a mile away. ∎ fig. sense the presence, existence, or imminence of: a commander who scented victory. ∎ sniff (the air) for a scent: the bull advanced, scenting the breeze at every step.PHRASES: put (or throw) someone off the scent mislead someone in the course of a search or investigation.DERIVATIVES: scent·less adj.