\ 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


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

Synonyms for nose

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Although hardly a teenager, Hatch’s hair began turning white shortly after learning about the death of Jesse Hatch, a nose gunner in a B-24 that was shot down in 1945 over Austria. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 May 2022 The for-profit market today leads much of the nonprofit museum world around by the nose. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 Plenty have lost interest in testing at all, and a good number of those still game to swab are performing their nose checks only at home and rarely, if ever, reporting the results. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 For some, that moment came back in 2015, when a video of researchers yanking a plastic straw out of a sea turtle’s nose went viral. Time, 5 May 2022 Workers who were culling the birds underwent daily symptom checks; on April 20, they were tested using nose swabs. Helen Branswell, STAT, 4 May 2022 Shaylyn Gammon’s nose can easily detect the most subtle hints of citrus, florals, and chocolate from a pour of bourbon. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 4 May 2022 Immediately noticeable are the Enclave's new nose and tail. David Beard, Car and Driver, 4 May 2022 The eyes, nose and lungs — organs easily in contact with the air or aerosolized toxins — are especially vulnerable. New York Times, 4 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dunst yells at her guardians, her button nose flaring with fury. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 15 Dec. 2021 Manufactures over-the-counter ear and nose care products for needs including earwax blockage and nasal irritation. Ann Gehan, Dallas News, 2 Sep. 2021 Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will now require that all fans 2 and over attending any events in the arena must wear a mask that covers mouth and nose unless actively eating or drinking. Marc Bona, cleveland, 8 Jan. 2022 In both crashes, incorrect data from a faulty sensor caused the MCAS to misfire, forcing the planes to nose down repeatedly. Mina Kaji, ABC News, 14 Oct. 2021 Oxendine’s injury follows a season-ending knee injury to nose guard Marquan McCall. Mark Heim |, al, 16 Oct. 2021 Demonstrating the fearlessness and nose for the net that had led the Ducks to choose him third in the June entry draft, McTavish became the youngest player to score a goal in franchise history at 18 years and 256 days. Los Angeles Times, 14 Oct. 2021 These changes increased the likelihood and degree to which the system would automatically nose the plane downward. Robert Zafft, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 Passengers would arrive and depart over various cities by means of shuttle planes that would nose into a retractable air lock under the fuselage. Thomas E. Stimson, Popular Mechanics, 15 July 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of nose


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


1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for nose


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

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Time Traveler for nose

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near nose

nosce te ipsum


nose about

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Statistics for nose

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nose


\ 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


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


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on nose

Nglish: Translation of nose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nose for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nose


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