1

sniff

verb \ ˈsnif \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of sniff

intransitive verb
1 a :to inhale through the nose especially for smelling
  • sniffed at the flowers
b :to take air into the nose in short audible breaths
  • She sniffed and wiped her nose.
2 :to show or express disdain or scorn
3 :snoop, nose
  • sniffed around for clues
transitive verb
1 a :to get the odor or scent of (something) with the nose :smell
  • sniffed the freshly baked cookies
  • dogs sniffing the ground
b :to inhale (something) through the nose :snort
  • sniffing cocaine
2 :to utter contemptuously
3 :to recognize or detect (something) by or as if by smelling usually used with out
  • sniff out trouble

Examples of sniff in a Sentence

  1. She sniffed and wiped her nose with a tissue.

  2. She put perfume on her wrist and sniffed it.

  3. The dog sniffed the carpet.

  4. He held the flower up to his nose and sniffed.

  5. “I guess you don't need my help,” she sniffed.

Recent Examples of sniff from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of sniff

Middle English

sniff Synonyms

Synonyms
nose, scent, smell, snuff, whiff
Related Words
breathe, drink (in), inhale, respire; snort, snuffle; savor (also savour)

2

sniff

noun

Definition of sniff

1 :an act or sound of sniffing
2 :a quantity that is sniffed

Examples of sniff in a Sentence

  1. She said that she felt fine, but her sniffs and coughs told a different story.

  2. “I refuse to answer that question,” she said with a sniff.

  3. He wanted to avoid the slightest sniff of a scandal.

  4. There was still a sniff of hope left for the team.

Recent Examples of sniff from the Web

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

First Known Use of sniff

1767



SNIFF Defined for English Language Learners

sniff

verb

Definition of sniff for English Language Learners

  • : to take air into your nose in short breaths that are loud enough to be heard

  • : to smell (something or someone) by putting your nose close to it and taking air in through your nose in short breaths

  • : to take (something, such as fumes or a drug) into your body by inhaling it through your nose in order to get intoxicated


sniff

noun

Definition of sniff for English Language Learners

  • : an act or the sound of drawing air into the nose especially in order to smell something or because you are sick or have been crying

  • : an expression of dislike or disapproval

  • : a small amount or sign of something


SNIFF Defined for Kids

1

sniff

verb \ ˈsnif \

Definition of sniff for Students

sniffed; sniffing
1 :to smell by taking short breaths
  • sniff perfume
2 :to draw air into the nose in short breaths loud enough to be heard
3 :to say with scorn

2

sniff

noun

Definition of sniff for Students

1 :the act or sound of drawing air into the nose in short breaths (as to smell something)
  • He took a sniff of the pie.
2 :an odor detected through the nose
  • a sniff of sea air


Seen and Heard

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