snif·​fle | \ ˈsni-fəl How to pronounce sniffle (audio) \
sniffled; sniffling\ ˈsni-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce sniffling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sniffler (audio) \ noun

Examples of sniffle in a Sentence

Verb The children have been sniffling for a week now. “In your family's eyes,” she sniffled, “I'm not good enough.” Noun He couldn't stop his sniffles.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the one who goes through a lot of tissues: Como Trash Bin There's always a sneezing, sniffling person in the office who can't go through a box of tissues fast enough—I've been that person! Cassidy Olsen, USA TODAY, "20 great gifts your coworkers will actually use," 29 Oct. 2019 No wails or cries pierced the air in the church; mourners quietly sniffled and wiped away gentle tears in pews. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit community mourns and remembers Emma Hernandez, 9, at funeral," 24 Aug. 2019 After the lid was on, one of the pallbearers threw his glove to the ground and stormed off, lifting up his sunglasses, wiping his eyes, sniffling. Sarah M. Broom, The New Yorker, "Who Stays Gone, and Who Can Afford to Return," 12 Aug. 2019 The amount of sniffling and crying heard in theaters during the aftermath of this scene is off the charts for a moment that many people know is coming. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "All the differences between the original Lion King and the remake," 23 July 2019 Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere provide plants with more food, making them larger and leading to more pollen, sniffling, and sneezing, research has shown. Lauren Fox,, "Pollen is getting worse, and climate change is the culprit," 14 June 2019 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 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 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There, Smith shed more tears as reporters asked questions between sniffles and snippets of monosyllabic answers in which the former Mount Saint Joseph star blamed himself. Don Markus,, "Going into his sophomore year, Maryland’s Jalen Smith working on his game, his body and his mind," 2 Nov. 2019 Small button mushrooms are juicy and delicious, and a gingery warm broth will help with any sniffles. Washington Post, "15 mushroom recipes for your plate, bowl or soul," 21 Oct. 2019 So a clearly sick Finebaum took to the microphone for his usual four hours, alternating between talking fans off the ledge and egging them on while letting the occasional sniffle out. John Talty |, al, "How Paul Finebaum handles post-Alabama loss show meltdowns," 12 Nov. 2019 As the story reached its culmination at an opening weekend matinee, the sniffles of emotional theatergoers mingled with vibrant mariachi music, and the room rang with applause. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Young women shatter barriers with a joyous blast of music in ‘American Mariachi’," 20 Sep. 2019 Major sniffles, the good kind, are coming in hot this back-to-school season. Teen Vogue, "The 15 Scents That Will Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home," 13 Aug. 2019 There’s the numbingly hot fried chicken; pork dumplings swimming in fiery chile oil that cures any summer sniffles; and the dan dan mian, noodles tossed with tingly-spicy ground pork. Emily Schultz, Bon Appétit, "I Douse Everything in Hot Sauce, But This Cooling Silken Tofu Won Me Over," 2 Aug. 2019 Next to him, Charlie Coyle angrily sniffles and rips tape off his calves. Charlotte Wilder,, "Bruins' Stanley Cup Loss A Sobering Experience for Boston Fans," 13 June 2019 The child nods yes, sniffles and wipes a tear from her eye. Mark Curnutte,, "4 addresses in 4 months: This is what poverty looks like for this Cincinnati family," 10 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for sniffle

Time Traveler

The first known use of sniffle was in 1632

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Statistics for sniffle

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sniffle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for sniffle


How to pronounce sniffle (audio)

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


snif·​fle | \ ˈsni-fəl How to pronounce sniffle (audio) \
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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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