Definitions for olfactionɒlˈfæk ʃən, oʊl-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word olfaction

Princeton's WordNet

  1. smell, sense of smell, olfaction, olfactory modality(noun)

    the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents


  1. olfaction(Noun)

    the sense of smell; the detection of airborne molecules


  1. Olfaction

    Olfaction or olfactory perception is the sense of smell. This sense is mediated by specialized sensory cells of the nasal cavity of vertebrates, which can be considered analogous to sensory cells of the antennae of invertebrates. In humans, olfaction occurs when odorant molecules bind to specific sites on the olfactory receptors. These receptors are used to detect the presence of smell. They come together at what is called the glomerulus. The glomerulus is a structure that transmits signals to the olfactory bulb. Many vertebrates, including most mammals and reptiles, have two distinct olfactory systems—the main olfactory system, and the accessory olfactory system. For air-breathing animals, the main olfactory system detects volatile chemicals, and the accessory olfactory system detects fluid-phase chemicals. Olfaction, along with taste, is a form of chemoreception. The chemicals themselves that activate the olfactory system, in general at very low concentrations, are called odorants. Although taste and smell are separate sensory systems in land animals, water-dwelling organisms often have one chemical sense.

Images & Illustrations of olfaction

Translations for olfaction

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for olfaction »


Find a translation for the olfaction definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these olfaction definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"olfaction." STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 26 Nov. 2015. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for olfaction? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for olfaction:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.