The term is stative verb: these are verbs talking about states or situations, and are connected with thinking and opinions, feeling and emotions, things are not actually actions.
The British Council has a good explanation on their Learn English website:
Some verbs are not usually used in the continuous form, even when we are talking about temporary situations or states. These are called stative verbs.
Stative verbs are often verbs connected with thinking and opinions.
She doesn’t know what to do
*She isn’t knowing what to do
Other stative verbs are connected with feelings and emotions
I like this song. Who sings it?
*I’m liking this song
[Aside: note that Who sings it? is probably wrong here, and Who is singing it? would be more usual, because sing is an action.]
‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘taste’, ‘smell’, ‘feel’ are verbs that describe senses.
These verbs aren’t usually used in continuous forms. They are often used with ‘can’.
It smells of smoke in here.
*It’s smelling of smoke in here.
Stative verbs describe things that are not actions.
He smells of fish.
He’s smelling the fish.
The second sentence is an action – not a state. The man wants to know if the fish is OK to eat.