Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DRUG CULTURE

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: From the sound

sniff

1 verb
     
sniff1
1 [intransitive] to breathe air into your nose noisily, for example when you are crying or have a cold:
Margaret sniffed miserably and nodded.
Stop sniffing and blow your nose.
2 [intransitive and transitive] to breathe air in through your nose in order to smell something:
He opened the milk and sniffed it.
sniff at
The dog was sniffing at the carpet.
3 [transitive] to say something in a way that shows you think something is not good enough:
'Is that all?' she sniffed.
4 [transitive]MDD to take a harmful drug by breathing it up your nose [↪ snort]:
kids who sniff glue

sniff at something

phrasal verb
1

something is not to be sniffed at

spoken especially British English used to say that something is good enough to be accepted or considered seriously:
An 8% salary increase is not to be sniffed at.
2 to refuse something in a proud way, or behave as if something is not good enough for you:
He sniffed at my choice of restaurants and suggested his own favorite.

sniff something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to discover or find something by its smell:
A customs officer came round with a dog to sniff out drugs.
2 informal to find out or discover something:
Vic's been trying to sniff out where you went last night.
WORD FOCUS: breathe WORD FOCUS: breathe
to breathe in: inhale formal

to breathe out: exhale formal

to breathe noisily: sniff, snore (when sleeping)
snort
, sigh

to breathe with difficulty: gasp, pant, wheeze, be short of breath, be out of breath

to be unable to breathe: choke, suffocate
breathe

See also
breathe
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