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snuf·​fle ˈsnə-fəl How to pronounce snuffle (audio)
snuffled; snuffling ˈsnə-f(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce snuffle (audio)

intransitive verb

: to snuff or sniff usually audibly and repeatedly
: to breathe through an obstructed nose with a sniffing sound
: to speak through or as if through the nose : whine

transitive verb

: to seek or test by or as if by repeated sniffs
snuffler noun


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snuffles plural : sniffles
: the act or sound of snuffling
: a nasal twang

Example Sentences

Verb The child was snuffling in his room.
Recent Examples on the Web
Two canines in Massachusetts are the first to be used by a law enforcement agency to snuffle the virus. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 July 2021 At night, wild boars snuffled outside the tents, searching for food scraps. New York Times, 24 Jan. 2020 If any swine is fit to be an organ donor for people, then the dozens of pigs snuffling around Qihan Bio’s facility in Hangzhou, China, may be the best candidates so far. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, 19 Dec. 2019 Whether that will help the person softly snuffling in the last bathroom stall because their expense report got returned for a third time isn't clear. Aj Willingham, CNN, 16 Aug. 2019 The little creature was sniffing and snuffling and scratching the dirt, looking for ants. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, 17 June 2019 Breathing Room For many dog lovers, behaviors like snoring and snuffling are considered aww-worthy (just check out the many Youtube videos of snoring pugs, reverse sneezing French Bulldogs and congested English bulldogs). Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, 1 Feb. 2018 One afternoon, the faint smell of charcoal briquettes wafted over the crowd, sunburned men and women planted in camp chairs and trying to keep snuffling dogs not used to leashes to heel. Penelope Green, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2018 Once again, the MTA snuffled for cash, a developer had the inside track, and civic groups howled at being left out. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, 10 Jan. 2018
Try implementing a few lifestyle changes: Take her on longer walks in the morning, bring her to a dog park in the afternoon, supply her with brain-teasing toys like snuffle mats or puzzle feeders. Hannah Harper,, 22 Sep. 2021 Hide treats in multiple pockets of a snuffle mat to test canine foraging skills. oregonlive, 21 Aug. 2020 Regular exercise and mental stimulation also reduce anxiety. Hide treats in multiple pockets of a snuffle mat to test canine foraging skills. oregonlive, 12 May 2020 The sounds of the season are sprinkled with sniffles, snuffles and snorts. Cindy George, Houston Chronicle, 18 Dec. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snuffle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



akin to Dutch snuffelen to snuffle — more at snivel

First Known Use


circa 1600, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1717, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of snuffle was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near snuffle

Cite this Entry

“Snuffle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
snuf·​fle ˈsnəf-əl How to pronounce snuffle (audio)
snuffled; snuffling -(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce snuffle (audio)
: to snuff or sniff usually loudly and over and over again
: to breathe through a partly blocked nose with a sniffing sound


2 of 2 noun
: the sound made in snuffling

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