\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Arrive on time and wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose. Washington Post, "What to know before heading into your vaccine appointment," 29 Mar. 2021 With Dylan unconscious, Miriam tapes his mouth and nose shut and places a plastic bag over his head to asphyxiate him. Anne Cohen,, "Everything You Need To Know About The Vomit-Inducing Revenge Scene In Violation," 25 Mar. 2021 Her lungs filled with fluid, and a mask over her mouth and nose flooded her with oxygen. Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, "She was dying of COVID-19. Her last hope would save her or kill her," 12 Mar. 2021 Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes, especially when handling frequently touched items. Los Angeles Times, "Gyms have reopened: Here’s how to have a safe workout amid COVID-19 risks," 16 Mar. 2021 According to Uber, the verification selfie uses object detection technology to determine whether a person is wearing a mask showing their mouth and nose are covered. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Uber, Lyft ban passenger who ripped off her mask, coughed on driver; police investigating," 11 Mar. 2021 Under this phase of reopening, public areas and materials will be thoroughly sanitized, social distancing will be enforced, and face masks — properly worn to cover the mouth and nose — will be required at all times inside the building. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake City Library’s buildings will open March 15, for the first time in a year," 8 Mar. 2021 Visitors must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose and practice social distancing during the entire visit. Leada Gore |, al, "You may not be able to visit Alabama nursing homes even after latest COVID order," 5 Mar. 2021 These frames provide a better fit of the mask over the user’s mouth and nose, helping to prevent external droplets from being inhaled while lessening the quantity of droplets exhaled by the mask wearer. Eric Fuller, Forbes, "A Ticket Reselling Giant Enters The PPE Market To Drive Down The Price Of N95 Masks," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Screaming, singing, heavy breathing, and generally projecting your voice can also project more droplets from your mouth and nose into the air. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "California Amusement Parks Can Open on April 1 — but Please, No Screaming on the Rides," 17 Mar. 2021 To create the shapes, Ffrench used white or jet black paint to trace a few delicate star shapes around the eyes, cheeks, and nose in an asymmetrical formation. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Burberry’s Starry Face Embellishments Are Mesmerizing—And DIY Friendly," 22 Feb. 2021 Its strength lies along the interior, particularly with Coburn, Collins and Sweat as defensive and nose tackles. Dallas News, "Texas DL outlook for 2021: Will Longhorns’ unit take the next step after a strong 2020 season?," 19 Feb. 2021 For Hill, that meant covering his mouth and nose with a garnet and gold mask from Florida State. Chris Dabe,, "A sign of the times: Karr's Destyn Hill reveals Florida State football choice on face mask," 3 Feb. 2021 High pressure over southeastern Canada, which will nose southward into the Mid-Atlantic, is predicted to block storm systems located to the northwest, northeast and south from affecting the region. Washington Post, "Cold but tranquil weather predicted for Joe Biden’s inauguration," 13 Jan. 2021 However, for a few hours overnight, warm enough air will nose into the clouds to turn the snow to sleet, limiting snow totals. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Major snowstorm bears down on the Northeast, with blizzard conditions likely," 15 Dec. 2020 His play at 3 technique defensive tackle, next to nose Tommy Togiai, has keyed the Buckeyes’ defense through the first five games. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Watch Ohio State football’s Haskell Garrett with a defensive lineman pick-six against Michigan State," 5 Dec. 2020 Senior captain Kyle Heaton has been part of the offense in past years at center, but will now take his toughness to nose guard with a few offensive cameos. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Sycamore Aviators may rely on ground game in 2020 football season," 14 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for nose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nose

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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Comments on nose

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