From Middle English stench, from Old English stenċ (“stench, odor, fragrance”), from Proto-Germanic *stankwiz (“smell, fragrance, odor”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tewg- (“to push, hit”). Cognate with Dutch stank (“stench, odor”), German Stank, Gestank (“stench, odor, smell”), Danish stank (“stench”), Swedish stank (“stench”), Icelandic stækja (“stench”).
- Rhymes: -ɛntʃ
stench (plural stenches)
- a strong foul smell, a stink
- (figuratively) a foul quality
- the stench of political corruption
- (obsolete) A smell or odour, not necessarily bad.
- Clouds of savoury stench involve the sky.