snif·​fle | \ˈsni-fəl \
sniffled; sniffling\ˈsni-​f(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of sniffle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to sniff repeatedly : snuffle

2 : to speak with or as if with sniffling



Definition of sniffle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 sniffles plural : a head cold marked by nasal discharge

2 : an act or sound of sniffling

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Other Words from sniffle


sniffler \ˈsni-​f(ə-​)lər \ noun

Examples of sniffle in a Sentence


The children have been sniffling for a week now. “In your family's eyes,” she sniffled, “I'm not good enough.”


He couldn't stop his sniffles.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But his emotions, choking up and sniffling, appeared to overwhelm his testimony at the outset. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Anguish vs. anger: Raw emotion rules as Ford, Kavanaugh press their cases," 28 Sep. 2018 Who knows what quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be passive-aggressively sniffling about by the end of training camp? Brad Biggs,, "What does 2018 Bears schedule mean for Matt Nagy & Co.?," 20 Apr. 2018 Flatlip rocked in his chair, sniffled and wiped his nose with a tissue. Julian Hattem, Fox News, "Prosecutor: Testimony of child enough to convict men of rape," 8 May 2018 Flu sufferers are likely to spend long hours on the couch sniffling and feeling sorry for themselves, clicking through Netflix and HBO offerings. Jura Koncius, charlotteobserver, "Afraid of getting sick? Six things you can do at home | Charlotte Observer," 31 Jan. 2018 The only audible sound as the cart was wheeled through was sniffling from family members and spectators. Sam Stanton, sacbee, "Cop killer suspect tossed from Sacramento court for good over latest outburst | The Sacramento Bee," 24 Jan. 2018 Dotson and Hunter Dale knelt in front of the Cougar statue, sniffling. Stefanie Loh, The Seattle Times, "The WSU community comes out in full force to honor Tyler Hilinski in a candlelight vigil," 19 Jan. 2018 There is always someone sneezing, coughing and/or sniffling in our office. Caitlin R. Mcglade,, "Database: What Broward teachers say about the mold issue in their classrooms," 31 Aug. 2017 The reason that pollen makes some people sniffle and sneeze is because their immune systems attack it like a parasite, says Leonard Bielory, professor and allergy specialist at Rutgers University Center of Environmental Prediction. National Geographic, "Climate Change Is Making Your Allergies Even Worse," 8 Apr. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In fact, sniffles could be heard from the chambers during the most intense parts of her testimony (and plenty of folks too to social media to discuss how emotional the experience of watching her speak made them). Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "9 Powerful Quotes from Christine Blasey Ford's Hearing," 27 Sep. 2018 At a preview performance, during an enthusiastic curtain call, the sniffles were as loud as the applause. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: ‘Sugar in Our Wounds’ May Make You Cry About the Past, and the Present," 19 June 2018 Vince Amalfitano isn’t one to rush to the doctor’s office every time his kid sniffles. Sarah Gantz,, "For this family, the flu's final gut punch was an $887 testing charge," 10 Apr. 2018 There will be no breakdown, no sniffles, no confessing to a single regret. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "The Strange Saga of Trump Winery," 14 Oct. 2016 But Rhett offered more than swooning and sniffles during his 65-minute set. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kenny Chesney, Thomas Rhett pack 'em in at Miller Park for 'Trip Around the Sun' tour stop," 28 Apr. 2018 Many analysts think that at least part of the explanation could be a range of temporary factors, the equivalent of a sniffle rather than a severe infection. The Economist, "The euro area’s economy loses momentum," 26 Apr. 2018 The latest Kardashian-West portrait features the whole crew, with no evidence of a single sniffle or sob: They're posed on a private jet, and even baby Chi is looking straight-on into the camera from her dad's lap. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian Shares a New Photo of Her 'Party of 5'," 23 Apr. 2018 Parts of it came out in bits and pieces — between sobs and sniffles — but not the whole thing. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Why KU's Svi Mykhailiuk became emotional when talking about his dad on Senior Night | The Kansas City Star," 28 Mar. 2018

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


1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sniffle


frequentative of sniff

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Dictionary Entries near sniffle





sniffle valve



Statistics for sniffle

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sniffle

The first known use of sniffle was in 1632

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More Definitions for sniffle



English Language Learners Definition of sniffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to repeatedly take air into your nose in short breaths that are loud enough to be heard because you are sick or have been crying

: to say (something) while crying or sniffling



English Language Learners Definition of sniffle (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or the sound of sniffling

the sniffles : a slight or mild cold that causes you to sniffle a lot


snif·​fle | \ˈsni-fəl \
sniffled; sniffling

Kids Definition of sniffle

1 : to sniff repeatedly

2 : to speak with sniffs The child sniffled about where it hurt.

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More from Merriam-Webster on sniffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sniffle

Spanish Central: Translation of sniffle

Nglish: Translation of sniffle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sniffle

What made you want to look up sniffle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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