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Smell a Rat Idiom Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

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smell a rat idiom

The “smell a rat” idiom refers to suspecting someone or something is wrong, particularly when that last piece of chocolate cake suddenly goes missing from the fridge! Generally, it implies the presence of an untrustworthy person in a group of people, especially if they are lying or cheating. The phrase comes from the idea of a cat being able to sense the presence of a rat by its smell.

Usage With Examples

The “smell a rat” idiom can be used in various contexts and situations. For example, if you receive an email asking for your personal information, you might smell a rat and think it is a scam. Here are some other examples of using the idiom correctly in a sentence:

  1. When the police found the missing jewels in his car, they smelled a rat and arrested him for theft.
  2. She smelled a rat when he said he was working late every night, so she hired a private investigator to follow him.
  3. He smelled a rat when he saw the strange charges on his credit card statement and realized that someone had hacked his account.

Also Read: 500+ Most Commonly Used Idioms in English

Synonyms and Similar Phrases

There are other words and phrases that have the same meaning as the “smell a rat” idiom. They are as follows:

  1. Sense something fishy
  2. Have a hunch
  3. Doubt
  4. Suspect
  5. Disbelieve
  6. Mistrust
  7. Misbelieve
  8. Be wary of
  9. Wonder about
  10. Question

Smell A Rat Idiom Quiz

Choose the best way to complete the sentence using the “smell a rat” idiom.

When she saw him talking to another woman on the phone, she __________.

A) smelled a rat and confronted him 

B) smelled a rose and kissed him 

C) smelled a cheese and ate it 

D) smelled a perfume and complimented him

Correct answer: A)

We hope that this blog helped you understand the meaning of “smell a rat” idiom, how to use it correctly in a sentence, and words and phrases related to it. Explore more idioms like this daily by following Leverage Edu. Happy Learning!

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