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Is there a SINGLE verb/phrasal verb that can describe all 5 senses at once (feel, smell, taste, sound & sight), or at least 2 of them (I need smell & sound)? An example: He (the verb I'm looking for) the delicious smell of dinner & the cheerful conversation of his family members.

  • To experience? Can you provide the sentence where you would use this word so that we know what you’re looking for? – Laurel Apr 5 at 15:15
  • Smell and sound are not related... Can you elaborate on what you mean? Please also provide an example sentence. – R Mac Apr 5 at 15:15
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    Uh, how about "sense" -- "He sensed the presence of another person." – Hot Licks Apr 5 at 15:43
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    No, there isn't, but there are a number of metaphors (suggested here and there) that can be pressed into use to refer to unspecified sensation. – John Lawler Apr 5 at 16:49
  • He was aware of ... – Jim Apr 6 at 6:59
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Perceive works:

He perceived the delicious smell of dinner and the cheerful conversation of his family members.


perceive verb 2 : to become aware of through the senses
Source: Merriam-Webster


Other verbs that could work, depending on the context:

sensed, experienced, noticed, noted, identified, recognized, appreciated . . .

As a matter of style, I would instead try a prepositional phrase:

He was immersed in the delicious aroma of dinner and the cheerful conversation of his family members.

Also, depending on context:

surrounded by (passive), enveloped in, overwhelmed by (passive), lost in . . .

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Take in

to receive into the mind : perceive

[source]

Also: sense or perceive, but these give a more detached tone than you're probably looking for in your example.

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I like detect:

[Merriam-Webster]
2 : to discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
// detect alcohol in the blood
// Do I detect a note of sarcasm in your voice?

So:

He detected the delicious smell of dinner and the cheerful conversation of his family members.

Noticed is an alternative. Both sound more casual than to me than similar words. In such a sentence (unless it's a robot doing the sensing), I would prefer a less clinical word.

And for something other than a single word, you could use became aware of.

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OP sentence: He relished the delicious smell of dinner & the cheerful conversation of his family members.

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/relish

...The verb relish means to enjoy something immensely. You may relish eating the relish on your hotdog, or you may relish taking an afternoon nap.

relish 1. nv vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment

Anything But Civil By Anna Loan-Wilsey

"I'm intrigued by your new book and would relish some stimulating conversation.” Sir Arthur's eyes lit up. I could see why they had continued their friendship."

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