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sniff out

(transitive, adverb) to detect through shrewdness or instinct
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Examples from the Web for sniff out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That is to say, he knew how to sniff out the road to almost anything.

    The Maid of Sker Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • For what hound, what vulture hovering in the Alexandrian sky, could sniff out anything so far distant as Oea?

  • And yet the scoundrel is around trying to sniff out some shadow of a pretext for misusing her worse than he's already done.

Slang definitions & phrases for sniff out

sniff out

verb phrase

To seek as if by following a scent: Mike hopes his kids may sniff out something faster than the police (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with sniff out

sniff out

Uncover, as If there's anything to that rumor, Gladys will sniff it out. This expression alludes to an animal sniffing for prey. [ First half of 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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