nose

noun
\ ˈnōz How to pronounce nose (audio) \

Definition of nose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the part of the face that bears the nostrils and covers the anterior part of the nasal cavity broadly : this part together with the nasal cavity
b : the anterior part of the head at the top or end of the muzzle : snout, proboscis
2a : the sense of smell : olfaction
b : aroma, bouquet
3 : the vertebrate olfactory organ
4a : the forward end or projection of something
b : the projecting or working end of a tool
5 : the stem of a boat or its protective metal covering
6a : the nose as a symbol of prying or meddling curiosity or interference
b : a knack for discovery or understanding a keen nose for absurdity
on the nose
1a : at or to a target point the bombs landed right on the nose
b(1) : on target : accurate
(2) : accurately
2 : to win used of horse or dog racing bets
under one's nose
: extremely near to one the answer was right under our noses also : brazenly in or as if in one's presence embezzling funds right under his nose

nose

verb
nosed; nosing

Definition of nose (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to detect by or as if by smell : scent
2a : to push or move with the nose
b : to move (something, such as a vehicle) ahead slowly or cautiously nosed my car into the parking space
3 : to touch or rub with the nose : nuzzle

intransitive verb

1 : to use the nose in examining, smelling, or showing affection
2a : to search impertinently : pry
3 : to move ahead slowly or cautiously the boat nosed around the bend
4 : to move the forward end in a specified direction the plane nosed up
5 : to advance into a slight lead

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Synonyms for nose

Synonyms: Noun

beak, conk [chiefly British slang], honker [slang], neb, nozzle [slang], proboscis, schnoz (or schnozz) [slang], schnozzle [slang], smeller, snoot, snout

Synonyms: Verb

scent, smell, sniff, snuff, whiff

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Examples of nose in a Sentence

Noun

The ball hit me right on the nose. You need to wipe your nose. I have a runny nose. the long nose of the anteater He got some water up his nose. She wrinkled her nose in disgust. That dog has a good nose. The whale measures 40 feet from nose to tail.

Verb

The horse nosed my hand. Some animal must have nosed the lid off the garbage can. The dog nosed the door open. The dogs were nosing around in the garbage. The boat nosed around the bend. I nosed my car into the parking space. The car nosed its way into the street.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even when everything else is perfectly matte—or, at most, delightfully dewy—that little area around the nose glistens with defiance. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Why Is My Skin Always Oily Halfway Through the Day No Matter What?," 20 May 2019 These marvelous animals filled thousands of niches in nature and ranged in size from creatures smaller than a chicken to 70-ton monsters more than 120 feet from nose to tail tip, the largest beings to have ever walked the earth. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "‘Dinosaurs Rediscovered’ Review: No Longer Dragging Their Tails," 9 May 2019 To celebrate May 18's full moon in Scorpio — the sign which, in medical astrology, or astrology that associates various parts of the body with the sun and astrological signs, corresponds with the nose — spritz on a brand-new fragrance. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What May’s Virgo Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Apr. 2019 While Stratolaunch calls its aircraft the world’s largest, other airplanes exceed it in length from nose to tail. John Antczak, The Seattle Times, "Giant Stratolaunch aircraft lifts off from California," 13 Apr. 2019 This past January, Kensington Palace released images of Princess Charlotte on her first day of nursery school—and Charlotte's button nose and big smile are dead-ringers for Spencer's. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Princess Charlotte Looks Just Like Lady Kitty Spencer, Princess Diana's Niece, in Throwback Photo," 26 Nov. 2018 Planning your next vacay around flowers may seem trivial, but trust me—your Instagram feed (and your nose) will thank you. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Resort Has the Most Stunning Lilac Festival You’ll Ever See," 5 Apr. 2019 The blunted nose with protrusion on top is the ASARS-2 advanced synthetic aperture radar system. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch A U-2 Spy Plane Pilot Suit Up and Take Off on a Mission Over the Middle East," 20 Mar. 2019 But of course, the traditional NBC looked down their nose at them. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How to make a big company more innovative," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Call him back when approaching other hikers because not everyone wants a dog nosing them. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About Hiking With Your Dog," 12 Feb. 2019 In any case, the Rotax V-twin has enough punch that a thumb-full of throttle causes the rear end to squat on its independent suspension and the front to nose skyward like a boat climbing on plane. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Can-Am's Outlander DPS 650 Is the Do-Anything ATV," 10 Jan. 2019 As waves of refugees flee the socialist utopia, bad actors ranging from Vladimir Putin to Hezbollah are nosing around in the ruins of the Bolivarian republic. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Return of James Monroe," 6 Aug. 2018 Avi Loeb is clearly nosing around one of the most extraordinary claims in astronomy. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Nailing down the nature of ‘Oumuamua—it’s probably a comet, but…," 29 Nov. 2018 At one point, the car even nosed into the hay bale barriers. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Robot racecars storm the most glamorous hill in motorsports," 3 Aug. 2018 Together, the three restaurants accommodate around 600 people, and owner Thunderdome Restaurant Group continues nosing around the Indianapolis area for opportunities. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "House-ground burgers, sausage planned at new Mass Ave. restaurant Krueger's Tavern," 19 June 2018 An estimated 15% of the bombs failed to detonate and instead nosed into the ground, some up to 20 feet deep. Erik Kirschbaum, latimes.com, "In a city littered with World War II-era explosives, Berlin's bomb squad is always on alert," 14 June 2018 There are some hints of a building ridge of high pressure that might nose into the southern United States, which might promote some building warmth eventually. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Skies feature clouds and some clearer moments into Thursday as it remains cool," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nose

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for nose

Noun

Middle English, from Old English nosu; akin to Old High German nasa nose, Latin nasus

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Learn More about nose

Dictionary Entries near nose

NOS

nos

nosce te ipsum

nose

nose about

nosean

nose ape

Statistics for nose

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nose

The first known use of nose was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for nose

nose

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of the face or head through which a person or animal smells and breathes
: the ability to smell things : the sense of smell
: the front end or part of something

nose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of nose (Entry 2 of 2)

: to push or move (something) with the nose
of an animal : to search for or find something by smelling
: to move forward slowly or carefully

nose

noun
\ ˈnōz How to pronounce nose (audio) \

Kids Definition of nose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the part of the face or head that contains the nostrils
2 : the sense or organ of smell Most dogs have a good nose.
3 : the front end or part of something the nose of an airplane
4 : an ability to discover She's got a nose for news.

Other Words from nose

nosed \ ˈnōzd \ adjective long-nosed

nose

verb
nosed; nosing

Kids Definition of nose (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to search for or find by smelling The dog nosed around in the garbage.
2 : to touch or rub with the nose : nuzzle The horse nosed my hand.
3 : to search for especially in an unwelcome way : pry Stop nosing around in my business.
4 : to move ahead slowly or carefully … the boat was nosing its way between the rocks out to the open sea.— Pearl S. Buck, The Big Wave

nose

noun
\ ˈnōz How to pronounce nose (audio) \

Medical Definition of nose

1a : the part of the face that bears the nostrils and covers the anterior part of the nasal cavity broadly : this part together with the nasal cavity
b : the anterior part of the head above or projecting beyond the muzzle
2 : the sense of smell : olfaction

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More from Merriam-Webster on nose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nose

Spanish Central: Translation of nose

Nglish: Translation of nose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nose for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nose

Comments on nose

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