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[snuhf-uh l] /ˈsnʌf əl/
verb (used without object), snuffled, snuffling.
to draw air into the nose for the purpose of smelling something; snuff.
to draw the breath or mucus through the nostrils in an audible or noisy manner; sniffle; snivel.
to speak through the nose or with a nasal twang.
to whine; snivel.
verb (used with object), snuffled, snuffling.
to utter in a snuffling or nasal tone.
an act or sound of snuffling.
snuffles, a condition of the nose, as from a cold, causing snuffling (usually preceded by the).
a nasal tone of voice.
Origin of snuffle
1575-85; < Dutch snuffelen to nose (in something), derivative of snuffen to snuff1 with frequentative suffix -el-; see -le
Related forms
snuffler, noun
snufflingly, adverb
snuffly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for snuffle
Historical Examples
  • Heralded by the snuffle of the horses, light began glimmering over a chaos of lines and shadows, pale as mother-o'-pearl.

  • From the stable came the snuffle and stamp of a feeding horse.

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • Do not whine or snuffle, but get ahead in the world while you can.

    The Red Conspiracy Joseph J. Mereto
  • snuffle and wheeze—snuffle and wheeze of the asthmatic Chinamans breathing.

    Dust of the Desert Robert Welles Ritchie
  • He walks with haughty paces: He snuffles all he snuffle can: "He scents the Jesuits' traces."

    Faust Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • "You snuffle like a horse when he smells oats," joked the colonel.

    The Song of Songs Hermann Sudermann
  • No sound was heard but the snuffle that came from the plush arm-chair opposite, where Miss Pritchett was audibly weeping.

    A Lost Cause Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • If he snuffle at the nose, he must snuffle cheerfully and with hope.

    Hints to Pilgrims Charles Stephen Brooks
  • I mean to say, when they snift they snift, and when they snuffle they—as it were—snuffle.

    Indiscretions of Archie P. G. Wodehouse
  • And you'll find one of 'em a native born comique who'll make you crack sides with a kick or a snuffle.

British Dictionary definitions for snuffle


(intransitive) to breathe noisily or with difficulty
to say or speak in a nasal tone
(intransitive) to snivel
an act or the sound of snuffling
a nasal tone or voice
the snuffles, a condition characterized by snuffling
Derived Forms
snuffler, noun
snuffly, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Low German or Dutch snuffelen; see snuff1, snivel
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 snuffle

1580s, from Dutch or Flemish snuffelen "to sniff about, pry," related to Dutch and Flemish snuffen "to sniff" (see snuff (v.2)). Related: Snuffled; snuffling.


1764, "sound made by snuffling," from snuffle (v.). Old English had snofl (n.) "phlegm, mucus." The snuffles "troublesome mucous discharge from the nostrils" is from 1770.


1764, "sound made by snuffling," from snuffle (v.). Old English had snofl (n.) "phlegm, mucus." The snuffles "troublesome mucous discharge from the nostrils" is from 1770.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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snuffle in Medicine

snuffle snuf·fle (snŭf'əl)
v. snuf·fled, snuf·fling, snuf·fles
To breathe noisily, as through a blocked nose. n.

  1. The act of snuffling.

  2. snuffles Obstructed nasal respiration, especially in a newborn, sometimes due to congenital syphilis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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