\ ˈ(h)wif How to pronounce whiff (audio) \

Definition of whiff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a quick puff or slight gust especially of air, odor, gas, smoke, or spray
b : an inhalation of odor, gas, or smoke
c : a slight puffing or whistling sound
2 : a slight trace or indication a whiff of scandal
3 : strikeout


whiffed; whiffing; whiffs

Definition of whiff (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move with or as if with a puff of air
2 : to emit whiffs : puff
3 : to inhale an odor

transitive verb

1a : to carry or convey by or as if by a whiff : blow
b : to expel or puff out in a whiff : exhale
2 : fan sense 8 whiffed three batters

Synonyms for whiff

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of whiff in a Sentence

Noun I got a whiff of new paint when I entered the room. I detected a whiff of sarcasm in her voice. The pitcher had eight whiffs during the game. Verb He whiffed a strong odor of perfume. The golfer nearly whiffed the shot. The golfer nearly whiffed on the shot. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No whiff of spendiness, scamminess, certainly not the word that starts with D and ends with T-H. Not even photos of chicken bones on buffet tables. Stephanie Hayes, Sun Sentinel, 13 Sep. 2022 Scent has the unique power to transport you to another location, headspace, or moment in time — all in just one whiff. Allure Editors, Allure, 13 Sep. 2022 From the first murder victim’s wise-ass narration to the over-exertions of Daniel Pemberton’s score, which swerves between jauntiness and intrigue, the production gives off a moldy whiff of desperation. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Sep. 2022 Poy-Sian is ubiquitous in Thailand, where everyone from motorcycle drivers to office workers rely on a whiff of its acute herbal scent—a combination of menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, and borneol oils—to stay energized. Emily Wilson, Bon Appétit, 3 Sep. 2022 So yes, there is precedent, and a whiff of hope that things could turn out to be just peachy. Michael Silver, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Sep. 2022 His four-seamer was effective, too, drawing four called strikes and one whiff in nine uses. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 28 Aug. 2022 The marketing move also gives the prestige TV property just enough of a whiff of cinematic pedigree to possibly pull in viewers who might have otherwise ignored a straight-to-streaming release. Adario Strange, Quartz, 22 Aug. 2022 This year’s run expansion includes no small measure of that organic crossover, but the move does distinguish itself in some ways—chief among them its sense of purpose, of orchestration, the whiff of corporate savvy hanging about it. Amanda Loudin, Outside Online, 16 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb A year after the Hornets whiff, Ellison tried to get corral the Golden State Warriors by placing an offer just north of $450 million. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 22 Sep. 2022 But Crimes of the Future has an elegiac whiff to it nonetheless. David Sims, The Atlantic, 2 June 2022 But White struck out Machado with an 85-mph slider, and Bruihl came on to whiff Jake Cronenworth with an 88-mph slider up in the zone. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 Of 17 swings against Zimmermann’s change up, the Guardians didn’t whiff once. Matt Cohen, Baltimore Sun, 3 June 2022 In the fourth inning, Mahle got Pirates shortstop Diego Castillo to whiff at a fastball by his hands and a slider in the dirt on consecutive pitches. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 14 May 2022 That pitch only got the Pirates to whiff three times on Saturday. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 15 May 2022 The punches whiff, the sound effects are clumsy, and the score by Alyana Cabral and Pan De Coco is deadpan hysterical. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 16 Feb. 2022 The punches whiff, the sound effects are clumsy, and the score by Alyana Cabral and Pan De Coco is deadpan hysterical. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of whiff


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1591, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for whiff



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Dictionary Entries Near whiff

Whieldon ware



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Statistics for whiff

Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Whiff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiff. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for whiff


\ ˈhwif How to pronounce whiff (audio) , ˈwif \

Kids Definition of whiff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small gust
2 : a small amount (as of a scent or a gas) that is breathed in … the east wind brought a whiff of exhaust smell from some passing car.— Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill
3 : hint entry 1 sense 2 His remark had a whiff of mischief.
4 : strikeout


whiffed; whiffing

Kids Definition of whiff (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : to breathe in an odor
3 : to fail to hit whiff a ball

More from Merriam-Webster on whiff

Nglish: Translation of whiff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whiff for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whiff


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