\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Get a whiff of a human armpit and find its owner a quarter mile away. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 June 2021 Cordero was also suffocated on fastballs, drawing a 39.4 percent whiff rate. BostonGlobe.com, 22 June 2021 Nostalgia, though, comes with a whiff of sadness, because the team’s only championships in 1970 and 1973 become more distant by the day. New York Times, 23 May 2021 Once Palermo got a whiff of Sicily Hill's candles, she was hooked. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, 20 May 2021 Guyton took another whiff and briefly pondered the results. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 Several days into her quarantine period, Ms. Moore took a whiff of Dumbo’s typically malodorous food. New York Times, 17 May 2021 But for all the gloom rising from these pages, there is more than a whiff of the romantic as well. Sigrid Nunez, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2021 There’s more than a whiff of elitism to Menand’s choices. Andy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Corbin got Muncy to whiff on a tight slider in the dirt to begin the at-bat. Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2021 Thus, teams exploited him on the breaking stuff, resulting in his 48.6 percent whiff rate on those pitches in the majors this year. BostonGlobe.com, 22 June 2021 That’s the call from the catbird seat, where folks are furious about the lack of action on the diamond and at hitters who whiff at record paces. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 June 2021 Strikeouts by Randy Dobnak, the first starter since 2017 to pitch at least four innings and not whiff a Yankees batter. The Numbers, Star Tribune, 9 June 2021 The Nasdaq 100 also jumped as investors took April’s jobs whiff to mean that the Fed won’t be turning off the taps anytime soon, keeping rates low and helping to sustain sky-high tech valuations. Fortune, 10 May 2021 In the 34-17 win over the Cowboys, Edwards (seven carries, 101 yards) executed a dead leg move that made defensive back Rashard Robinson whiff on a low tackle attempt while Edwards flew past him for a 36-yard run, the fourth-longest of his career. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, 20 Dec. 2020 Throw in a massive hurricane, and even the guys setting the number can whiff on one. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 8 Oct. 2020 Those signings turned into a disaster as did Vogel’s inheritance of another Hennigan whiff — deeply flawed starting point guard Elfrid Payton. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, 8 Oct. 2020

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.

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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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Learn More About whiff

Dictionary Entries Near whiff

Whieldon ware



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Statistics for whiff

Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whiff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiff. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for whiff



English Language Learners Definition of whiff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a slight smell of something : an odor that is weak
: a slight trace or indication



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

US, informal
: to notice (a smell)
of a pitcher : to cause (a batter) to be out by pitching three strikes
of a batter : to make an out by getting three strikes


\ 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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