\ ˈsni-fē How to pronounce sniffy (audio) \
sniffier; sniffiest

Definition of sniffy

: having or expressing a haughty attitude : disdainful, supercilious

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Other Words from sniffy

sniffily \ ˈsni-​fə-​lē How to pronounce sniffily (audio) \ adverb
sniffiness \ ˈsni-​fē-​nəs How to pronounce sniffiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of sniffy in a Sentence

She wrote a sniffy letter rejecting his offer. she was sniffy about anyone who didn't live up to her standards for “good manners”
Recent Examples on the Web Posh brands are getting less sniffy about online sales, which were only 7-8% of the total in 2019. The Economist, "Week in charts Britain’s bungling of the pandemic," 19 June 2020 Horror fans tend to be sniffy about filmmakers who eschew lashing of gore and an atmosphere of kiddie-repulsing intensity in favor of attempting to garner the largest possible audience with a rating lower than an R. Clark Collis,, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a disgustingly good gateway horror movie," 8 Aug. 2019 There is a similarly detailed list of American girls who have already married peers, along with a fairly sniffy résumé of what various titles are worth. Anne De Courcy, WSJ, "Five Best: Anne de Courcy on Books About Society in the Gilded Age," 5 Oct. 2018 Economists are generally sniffy about them, with some justification. The Economist, "Left in the lurchGlobalisation has marginalised many regions in the rich world," 21 Oct. 2017 Call it subway surfing: Just a 90-minute ride from Times Square, the Rockaways have long been a boarding haven, an oceanfront corner of New York City with waves good enough to please even the sniffiest surfer. Mark Ellwood, CNT, "You Can Now Glamp on NYC's Rockaway Beach," 25 Sep. 2017 Political professionals can be a bit sniffy about gerrymandering’s importance as an explanation for government dysfunction. The Economist, "Arnie lends some muscle to the campaign against gerrymandering," 22 July 2017 This is roughly the same formulation that greets the sniffy pop culture critic: The pace, the material, the plot — Revenge! Accuse! Defend! Deport! Eliminate! Christopher Borrelli,, "Binge-watching Trump's First 100 Days: How he's clashed with the arts but is all about entertainment," 27 Apr. 2017

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

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sniffy

Time Traveler

The first known use of sniffy was in 1871

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Statistics for sniffy

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sniffy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for sniffy


How to pronounce sniffy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sniffy

chiefly British, informal + disapproving : having or showing the attitude of people who believe that they are better or more important than other people

More from Merriam-Webster on sniffy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sniffy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sniffy

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