sniff·​er ˈsni-fər How to pronounce sniffer (audio)
: one that sniffs: such as
: someone who sniffs a drug or other substance in order to become intoxicated
a cocaine/glue sniffer
or less commonly sniffer dog : a dog that is trained to recognize and follow scents especially for the purpose of locating people or contraband (such as illicit drugs and explosives)
informal : nose
Use your sniffer to detect unattractive or unhealthy odors.Susan DeBow

Examples of sniffer in a Sentence

Sniffers were brought in to search bags at the airport.
Recent Examples on the Web Border guards, who use sniffer dogs, loudspeakers and powerful spotlights on patrols, say multiple incidents involving up to 1,000 migrants aren't uncommon in a single day during the summer and early fall when water levels along the Evros hit an annual low. Derek Gatopoulos,, 23 Dec. 2022 Earlier this month, Chinese researchers published a paper in Nature Communications that details a small, soft, wireless olfactory device that might finally give your sniffer something to do. IEEE Spectrum, 19 May 2023 That animal is believed to have been Wilson, one of 10 military sniffer dogs used in the search operation for the children. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 15 June 2023 Several weeks later, Nemeth, the regiment's training officer, visited the shelter where Logan was housed and began assessing his suitability for becoming a professional bomb sniffer. Justin Spike, ajc, 14 May 2022 Give your furry friend the gift of a healthy, happy sniffer with Puppington's 7-Day Magic Pup Wax Dog Nose Balm. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 21 May 2023 The soldiers have already covered over 1,000 miles with sniffer dogs during their search, working in rotations against adverse conditions, including hours of rain that can wipe out any evidence. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 2 June 2023 Those with a sensitive sniffer are treated to the pleasure of subtle differences between an ’84 Bordeaux and an ’87 Cabernet, or the ability to tell whether the diner down the street is having a special on onion rings or fries. Guest Blogger, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2013 The operations covered nearly 40 hectares (0.4 square kilometers) of woodland around the school campus, deploying sniffer dogs, drones and thermal imaging equipment and mobilizing thousands of people, before his body was found by a member of the public. Nectar Gan, CNN, 2 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sniffer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sniffer was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near sniffer

Cite this Entry

“Sniffer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sniffer

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!