Date: 1300-1400
Origin: From the sound


1 verb
Related topics: Drug Culture
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

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)
, sigh

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

to be unable to breathe: choke, suffocate

See also

Dictionary results for "sniff"
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