verb (used with object), nosed, nos·ing.
verb (used without object), nosed, nos·ing.
- to defeat, especially by a narrow margin: The other candidates had been nosed out in the final returns.
- to learn or discover, especially by snooping or prying: to nose out a secret.
- to go forward in a straight course.
- to guide oneself by instinct: I found the house by following my nose.
- precisely, correctly, or perfectly.
- exactly on time: We made it at ten o'clock on the nose.
- (of a bet) for win only.
- Australian Informal.decayed or putrid; stinking.
- Australian Informal.distasteful or unpleasant; of doubtful validity or propriety.
- to annoy or irritate greatly.
- to supersede a person in another's regard, devotion, etc.
- to thwart someone; spoil someone's plans.
Origin of nose
- (in horse-race betting) to win onlyI bet twenty pounds on the nose on that horse
- mainly US and Canadianprecisely; exactly
- Australianbad or bad-smelling
- to be short-sighted; suffer from myopia
- to lack insight or foresight
- directly in front of one
- without one noticing
Word Origin for nose
"perceive the smell of," 1570s; "pry, search," 1640s, from nose (n.). Related: Nosed; nosing.
Old English nosu, from Proto-Germanic *nusus (cf. Old Norse nös, Old Frisian nose, Dutch neus, Old High German nasa, German Nase), from PIE *nas- "nose" (cf. Sanskrit nasa, Old Persian naham, Old Church Slavonic nasu, Lithuanian nosis, Latin nasus "nose"). Used of any prominent or projecting part from 1530s. (nose cone in the space rocket sense is from 1949). Used to indicate "something obvious" from 1590s. Meaning "odor, scent" is from 1894.
Kiv, It could bee no other then his owne manne, that had thrust his nose so farre out of ioynte. ["Barnabe Riche His Farewell to Military Profession," 1581]
Pay through the nose (1670s) seems to suggest "bleed." Many extended meanings are from the horse-racing sense of "length of a horse's nose," as a measure of distance between two finishers (1908). To turn up one's nose "show disdain" is from 1818 (earlier hold up one's nose, 1570s); similar notion in look down one's nose (1921). To say something is under (one's) nose "in plain view" is from 1540s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with nose
- nose about
- nose in
- nose in a book, have one's
- nose in the air, have one's
- nose into
- nose out
- nose out of joint, have one's
- nose to the grindstone, keep one's
- brown nose
- can't see beyond the end of one's nose
- count noses
- cut off one's nose
- follow one's nose
- keep one's nose clean
- lead by the nose
- look down on (one's nose)
- no skin off my nose
- on the nose
- pay through the nose
- plain as day (the nose on your face)
- poke one's nose into
- rub someone's nose in it
- thumb one's nose
- turn up one's nose
- under one's nose
- win by a nose