Meaning of “smell a rat” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"smell a rat" in British English

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smell a rat

to recognize that something is not as it appears to be or that something dishonest is happening:

He's been working late with her every night this week - I smell a rat!

(Definition of “smell a rat” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"smell a rat" in American English

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smell a rat

to believe something is wrong:

When I got an e-mail asking for my password, I should have smelled a rat.

(Definition of “smell a rat” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)