\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, snail

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

See, asthma screws with the airways that go from your nose and mouth to your lungs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Korin Miller, SELF, "What’s an Asthma Exacerbation? (Because It Sounds Really Scary.)," 11 July 2018 After slipping one over my nose and mouth, I was struck by the sight of my father in the medicine cabinet mirror — his pale blue eyes gazed back from my face. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 Parents should teach children to try to keep water out of their noses or mouths, Robinson said. Glenn Howatt,, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018 Immediately after taking a breath, slowly exhale through your nose and mouth. Emily Abbate, GQ, "Watch Ryan Gosling Go Swimming in his Ralph Lauren Suit," 26 June 2018 Maybe new no-nonsense and nose-to-the-grindstone coach James O’Connor has finally forced Orlando City — its players and its management — to do just that. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "James O’Connor is finally forcing Orlando City’s players to look in the mirror," 14 July 2018 And while increasingly difficult to articulate, Key West’s brand of camp reflects Wolkowsky’s understanding — never on the nose, always sideways, a place where anonymity feels like an innate right. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "The Town That Camp Built," 12 July 2018 The Ascent is bluntly and unapologetically humongous: 196.8 inches nose to tail, 76 inches wide and 71.6 inches tall, including roof rails. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Subaru Ascent: A Bigger, Better Family SUV," 12 July 2018 The push gained traction after a viral video in 2015 showed rescuers removing a straw from a sea turtle's nose in graphic detail. NBC News, "Starbucks says it will stop offering plastic straws by 2020," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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,, "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 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

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

7 Nov 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

What made you want to look up nose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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