Malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, rancid, fusty, musty mean having an unpleasant smell.
Malodorous is the general term which is referable to any smell of this character, from one that is noticeably unpleasant to one that is distinctly offensive.
Stinking, the familiar term, and fetid, the literary or technical term, describe an odor or a thing that emits an odor which is peculiarly offensive; the former more obviously suggests disgusting foulness than the latter.
Noisome is applicable chiefly to what emits a poisonously or unwholesomely offensive odor.
Putrid is applicable primarily to organic matter in such a state of decomposition that it is loathsomely malodorous.
Rank (see also RANK 1 ); (see also FLAGRANT ) applies to an odor or to a’thing which emits an odor that is exceedingly strong and unpleasing yet not necessarily loathsome.
Rancid usually suggests an offensive taste as well as an offensive smell that is indicative of a loss of freshness; it is used especially of fatty substances (as oil or butter) that have undergone a chemical change or decomposition.
Fusty and musty both suggest lack of ventilation and sunlight, but of the two words fusty carries the stronger implication of age and prolonged uncleanliness or an accumulation of dust and dirt, and musty, the stronger implication of moldiness or of the effects of darkness or dampness.