\ ˈnōz \

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

b : poke sense 2a

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 & Antonyms for nose

Synonyms: Noun

apex, cusp, end, nib, pike, point, tip

Synonyms: Verb

crawl, creak (along), creep, drag, inch, limp, ooze, plod, poke, slouch

Antonyms: Verb

fly, race, speed, whiz (or whizz), zip

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Examples of nose in a Sentence


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.


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

First, loop around your nose, upper brow area, and cheeks. The Cut, "How to Get the Most Out of Your Serum," 13 July 2018 In his first game since breaking his nose against the Cincinnati Reds last month, the right-hander pitched well. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Francisco Liriano's trade value plummets in Detroit Tigers 10-9 loss," 9 July 2018 Start with deep breathing exercises (through your nose), along with meditation. Houston Chronicle, "How to “live long and prosper”," 7 July 2018 Wehrli remembers Gray at 13 running into the scorer's table and breaking her nose while chasing a shank. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU volleyball turns to corporate consultant for help after winless Pac-12 season," 30 June 2018 Her nose appeared crooked, and her lip was split with a tooth hanging loose. Erika Andersen, Good Housekeeping, "The Only Reason My Husband Survived Abuse and Poverty As a Child: His Faith in God," 26 June 2018 Caste elders have threatened to chop off her nose, gang-rape her and worse. Author: Shashank Bengali, Anchorage Daily News, "In India, ‘child marriage is like a disease’," 24 June 2018 The rampant violence that leads people to seek asylum from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador can be directly traced to America sticking its nose into the affairs of those countries. Jason Johnson, The Root, "It’s Not Slavery, It’s Not Japanese Internment: Trump’s Immigration Policy Is Like the Great Migration," 20 June 2018 Bobby had fallen asleep at the wheel, crashed into a tree, and broken his nose on the steering wheel. Longreads, "The Cold War and its Fallout," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Finley got in his face, nose to nose with the team’s undisputed alpha dog. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Unique path has North Carolina State QB Ryan Finley ready for what comes next," 22 June 2018 Every time doctors changed Quinn’s medication, he’d nose-dive, Podolske said. Yvonne Abraham,, "One man’s mission to remember and honor those lost to AIDS," 9 June 2018 Glass windows line the edges of the enclosure, including some underwater, so viewers can get nose to nose with the monkeys or catch a glimpse at their diving technique. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "New Macaque monkeys at Indianapolis Zoo known for swimming, diving and photo-bombing," 22 May 2018 Another 40 seconds later, the Tracker still missing, the Disco nosed over the last crest, pushrod clacking furiously, and ripped down the final dune for the win with a 7:34. Car and Driver, "The Battle of the Off-Road Beaters: Ford F-150 Custom vs. Geo Tracker, Jeep Cherokee, Land Rover Discovery," 30 Nov. 2016 At parties, David and Michael would nose around in cabinets overflowing with Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Benzos of all shapes and sizes. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 Steven Wolkin, a child custody attorney representing the investigator the Alis never wanted nosing into their lives, came on as Bad Cop. Andrea Simakis,, "Cleveland Clinic, parents clash over girl's brain tumor treatment; court to decide," 13 May 2018 Humans are hopelessly drawn to neoteny—the kissable, squishable, button-nosed, big-eyed, irresistibility of babies—and your parents will generally have your back. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Dear Royal Baby: Being the Youngest Child Comes With Some Surprising Advantages," 23 Apr. 2018 The first- and second-place results were the same as for 2016, but Delta could have nosed past Alaska with a better performance in August, which was marred with flight disruptions from hurricanes. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Alaska edges Delta to remain best-ranked U.S. carrier in study of airline performance," 9 Apr. 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


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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Learn More about nose

Dictionary Entries near nose



nosce te ipsum


nose about


nose ape

Statistics for nose

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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



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



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


\ ˈnōz \

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 \

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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Comments on nose

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