sniff·​er | \ ˈsni-fər How to pronounce sniffer (audio) \

Definition of sniffer

1 : one that sniffs: such as
a : someone who sniffs a drug or other substance in order to become intoxicated a cocaine/glue sniffer
b 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)
2 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 Analysts said Zeebrugge lacks many of the security measures — including sniffer dogs and high-tech monitors — employed in French ports. Washington Post, "British police: A man and woman arrested in connection with 39 bodies found in truck container," 25 Oct. 2019 Police searched the surrounding streets and woods on foot, using sniffer dogs, but the occupants weren’t located. The vehicle’s registered owner was contacted. Joseph Clark, cleveland, "Car flips during police chase: Olmsted Township Police Blotter," 21 Oct. 2019 This has led to persistent health problems in Jordan, the largest recipient in the program with 61 active bomb-sniffer dogs. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "The US sent bomb-sniffing dogs to Jordan. Now they're dying from poor treatment," 16 Sep. 2019 For the skeptical cork sniffers, Sigel's stocks Margerum Winery's rosé and sauvignon blanc — non-conformist outliers in 500 ml (17-ounce) cans for $12.99. Alfonso Cevola, Dallas News, "Canned wine is officially mainstream, and the competition is fierce," 21 June 2019 Nora's disappearance triggered a massive search effort involving drones, sniffer dogs, multiple countries and more than 350 searchers. Hannah Knowles, Jennifer Hassan, Anchorage Daily News, "British teen found dead in jungle was not abducted or murdered, Malaysian police say," 15 Aug. 2019 Nora’s disappearance triggered a massive search effort involving drones, sniffer dogs, multiple countries and more than 350 searchers, Malaysian police said. Washington Post, "A ‘vulnerable’ teen disappeared from a Malaysian resort. Police say they’ve found her body.," 14 Aug. 2019 They were given permission by the owner to conduct that search, which involved K9 sniffer dogs. Joseph Clark,, "Home searched after texted threats: Olmsted Falls Police Blotter," 21 June 2019 Rescue teams, divers and sniffer dogs have been deployed for the search operation. Niha Masih, Washington Post, "Founder of India’s largest coffee chain is missing," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sniffer.' 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 sniffer

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sniffer

Time Traveler

The first known use of sniffer was in 1864

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sniffer.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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How to pronounce sniffer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sniffer

: someone who sniffs a drug or other substance in order to become intoxicated
: a dog that is trained to find people, illegal drugs, explosives, etc., by recognizing and following scents

More from Merriam-Webster on sniffer

Nglish: Translation of sniffer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sniffer

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very cautious or careful

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