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90s Slang You Should Know


[snif-uh l] /ˈsnɪf əl/
verb (used without object), sniffled, sniffling.
to sniff repeatedly, as from a head cold or in repressing tears:
She sniffled woefully.
an act or sound of sniffling.
sniffles, a condition, as a cold, marked by sniffling (usually preceded by the):
This draft is giving me the sniffles.
Origin of sniffle
First recorded in 1625-35; sniff + -le
Related forms
sniffler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sniffle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You'd have yelled yourself," muttered the boy, with a sniffle.

    Left Tackle Thayer Ralph Henry Barbour
  • He shook hands with his opponent, who, stung by the rebuke, now began to sniffle.

  • At this moment a sound was heard on the other side of the door, something between a cry, a sniffle, and a sob.

    Fernley House Laura E. Richards
  • Cant and vice and sniffle have groaned over these pages before.

    Walt Whitman Yesterday and Today Henry Eduard Legler
  • "They are married in name only," said Mrs. Rodney, beginning to sniffle.

    The Husbands of Edith George Barr McCutcheon
  • There was a sound that might have been a sniffle if it had come from anyone else.

    Badge of Infamy Lester del Rey
  • Yes, mam, I could sniffle a week, dey been cut me such licks.

  • She tried to sniff contemptuously, but succeeded in producing only a sniffle.

    Martin Eden Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for sniffle


(intransitive) to breathe audibly through the nose, as when the nasal passages are congested
the act, sound, or an instance of sniffling
Derived Forms
sniffler, noun
sniffly, adjective
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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Word Origin and History for sniffle

1819, frequentative form of sniff (v.). Related: Sniffled; sniffling. The sniffles "runny nose, head cold" is recorded from 1825. Sniffly (1897) tends to refer to physical symptoms, while sniffy (1858) means "scornful, disdainful and disagreeable." Snuffy "annoyed" is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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