Definition of fetid in English:


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(also British foetid)
  • Smelling extremely unpleasant.

    ‘the fetid water of the marsh’
    • ‘In the wards, children are crowded two and three in a bed in airless rooms, foetid with the smell of kerosene heaters.’
    • ‘By the early hours of Sunday morning the fire was under control but days later the streets around the city's southside were blocked off and the air was fetid with the smell of damp smoke.’
    • ‘And pot smoke lends a piquant tinge to the smell of fetid sweat.’
    • ‘We are all facing death, these movies say, and when we smell its fetid breath we have only two choices.’
    • ‘The councillors pointed out everyone knew cholera was due to miasma, the rising of bad smells from the foetid surrounds.’
    • ‘These were not only a pleasure to look down upon from a bedroom window but sent up clouds of agreeable smells to mitigate the fetid interiors.’
    • ‘The fetid sour smell of garlic, garum and stale wine on his breath overwhelmed Yohanna and she gasped for air.’
    • ‘The dog snapped its jaws open and closed inches from Rae's face and he could smell the animal's fetid breath, choking him, causing him to gag.’
    • ‘None of the plants can be seen from the interstate, but their presence is betrayed by the fetid smell of factory effluents.’
    • ‘It smelled of fetid water and decaying food; the French Quarter was quiet for the first time in hundreds of years.’
    • ‘The water had become fetid, he explained, and he'd lost two crocodiles in as many years.’
    • ‘They are still no showers for people who have walked for hours through fetid waters.’
    • ‘He warned that the fetid water could spread disease and that natural gas was leaking all over town.’
    • ‘Down the embankment, paddle through four inches of fetid water and soon we were engulfed by darkness.’
    • ‘She lived and worked night after night in stinking tenements and foetid shelters packed with unwashed humans.’
    • ‘The spectre of disease also haunted recovery efforts with doctors fearing the foetid waters and squalid conditions in shelters could breed cholera or typhoid, or mosquitoes carrying malaria or West Nile virus.’
    • ‘What yesterday had been a hog lot, was now a small, fetid swamp, water bubbling up in the middle.’
    • ‘I stumbled to the swamp and drank the fetid water, coughing half of it back up again.’
    • ‘Even in the fetid water of a city canal there are ducks and the occasional rainbow.’
    • ‘Hog waste is a major pollution source, communities surrounding the factories are strangled by a foetid stench and animal rights groups have long complained about the inhumane way pigs are raised and slaughtered.’
    stinking, smelly, foul-smelling, evil-smelling, malodorous, stinking to high heaven, reeking, pungent, acrid, high, rank, foul, unpleasant, nasty, noxious
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/ˈfedid/ /ˈfɛdɪd/


Late Middle English from Latin fetidus (often erroneously spelled foetidus), from fetere ‘to stink’. Compare with fetor.