- to draw in through the nose by inhaling.
- to perceive by or as by smelling; sniff.
- to examine by smelling, as an animal does.
- to draw air into the nostrils by inhaling, as to smell something; snuffle: After snuffing around, he found the gas leak.
- to draw powdered tobacco into the nostrils; take snuff.
- Obsolete. to express disdain, contempt, displeasure, etc., by sniffing (often followed by at).
- an act of snuffing; an inhalation through the nose; a sniff.
- smell, scent, or odor.
- a preparation of tobacco, either powdered and taken into the nostrils by inhalation or ground and placed between the cheek and gum.
- a pinch of such tobacco.
- up to snuff, Informal.
- British.not easily imposed upon; shrewd; sharp.
- up to a certain standard; satisfactory: His performance wasn't up to snuff.
Origin of snuff1
- the charred or partly consumed portion of a candlewick.
- a thing of little or no value, especially if left over.
- to cut off or remove the snuff of (candles, tapers, etc.).
- snuff out,
- to extinguish: to snuff out a candle.
- to suppress; crush: to snuff out opposition.
- Informal.to kill or murder: Many lives were snuffed out during the epidemic.
Origin of snuff2
Examples from the Web for snuffing
But he acknowledges a still bigger problem with snuffing it out: people themselves.America's Top Liars
April 19, 2011
The second, political revolution was the Chinese snuffing out of the idea of Tibetan sovereignty once and for all.The Dalai Lama's Great Escape
December 31, 2010
He was snuffing at the splashes of axle “dope” on the ground beneath the wagon.The Law-Breakers
Her robe was drawn over her head and she was snuffing as she came.
Your empire will crumble like dust, and your life will go out like the snuffing of a candle.Princess Zara
He ran about, snuffing and moaning, and it was only with some trouble we got him to come away with us.'Chatterbox, 1906
Here they suddenly halted, throwing up their heads and snuffing the air.The Scalp Hunters
- (tr) to inhale through the nose
- (when intr, often foll by at) (esp of an animal) to examine by sniffing
- an act or the sound of snuffing
- finely powdered tobacco for sniffing up the nostrils or less commonly for chewing
- a small amount of this
- any powdered substance, esp one for sniffing up the nostrils
- up to snuff informal
- in good health or in good condition
- mainly Britishnot easily deceived
- (intr) to use or inhale snuff
- (often foll by out) to extinguish (a light from a naked flame, esp a candle)
- to cut off the charred part of (the wick of a candle, etc)
- (usually foll by out) informal to suppress; put an end to
- snuff it British informal to die
- the burned portion of the wick of a candle
Word Origin and History for snuffing
"to cut or pinch off the burned part of a candle wick," mid-15c., from noun snoffe "burned part of a candle wick" (late 14c.), of unknown origin, perhaps related to snuff (v.2). The meaning "to die" is from 1865; that of "to kill" is from 1932; snuff-film, originally an urban legend, is from 1975.
"draw in through the nose," 1520s, from Dutch or Flemish snuffen "to sniff, snuff," related to Dutch snuiven "to sniff," from Proto-Germanic *snuf- (cf. Middle High German snupfe, German Schnupfen "head-cold"), imitative of the sound of drawing air through the nose (see snout). Related: Snuffed; snuffing.
"powdered tobacco to be inhaled," 1680s, from Dutch or Flemish snuf, shortened form of snuftabak "snuff tobacco," from snuffen "to sniff, snuff" (see snuff (v.2)). The practice became fashionable in England c.1680. Slang phrase up to snuff "knowing, sharp, wide-awake, not likely to be deceived" is from 1811; the exact sense is obscure unless it refers to the "elevating" properties of snuff.
- To inhale something audibly through the nose; sniff.
- A preparation of finely pulverized tobacco that can be drawn up into the nostrils by inhaling.
- A medicated powder inhaled through or blown into the nose.