[ nohz ]
See synonyms for nose on
  1. the part of the face or facial region in humans and certain animals that contains the nostrils and the organs of smell and functions as the usual passageway for air in respiration: in humans it is a prominence in the center of the face formed of bone and cartilage, serving also to modify or modulate the voice.

  2. this part as the organ of smell.

  1. the sense of smell: fragrances appealing to the nose.

  2. anything regarded as resembling the nose of a person or animal, as a spout or nozzle.

  3. the prow of a ship.

  4. the forward end of an aircraft.

  5. the forward edge of the head of a golf club.

  6. a projecting part of anything: the nose of a pair of pliers.

  7. a faculty of perceiving or detecting: to have a nose for news.

  8. the human nose regarded as a symbol of meddling or prying: Why can't he keep his nose out of my business?

  9. the length of a nose: The horse won the race by a nose.

  10. the bouquet of an alcoholic drink, especially the distinctive aroma of a wine.

verb (used with object),nosed, nos·ing.
  1. to perceive by or as by the nose or the sense of smell: a cheese that could be nosed at some distance.

  2. to approach the nose to, as in smelling or examining; sniff.

  1. to move or push forward with or as with the nose: The dog nosed its pup back into the yard. The boat nosed its way toward shore.

  2. to touch or rub with the nose; nuzzle.

verb (used without object),nosed, nos·ing.
  1. to smell or sniff.

  2. to seek as if by smelling or scent: The dogs nosed after their quarry.

  1. to move or push forward: to nose into the wind.

  2. to meddle or pry (often followed by about, into, etc.): They are always nosing about in other people's business.

Verb Phrases
  1. nose out,

    • 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.

Idioms about nose

  1. count noses, to count the number of people in attendance: Each time the troop left an exhibit the leader counted noses.

  2. cut off one's nose to spite one's face, to create a disadvantage to oneself through one's own spiteful action.

  1. follow one's nose,

    • to go forward in a straight course.

    • to guide oneself by instinct: I found the house by following my nose.

  2. hold one's nose, to repress feelings of distaste, repulsion, or offense for something that one is obliged to do: He held his nose and voted for the bill.

  3. keep one's nose clean, to behave oneself; avoid trouble or scandal: Did he keep his nose clean after he got out of prison?

  4. keep one's nose to the grindstone. grindstone (def. 3).

  5. lead (around) by the nose, to exercise complete control over; dominate totally: He lets his brother lead him by the nose.

  6. look down one's nose at, to regard with disdain or condescension: He had always looked down his nose at those who were poorer than he.

  7. on the nose, Informal.

    • 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.

  8. pay through the nose, to pay an excessive price: They patronize small and exclusive shops where they cheerfully pay through the nose.

  9. put someone's nose out of joint,

    • to annoy or irritate greatly.

    • to supersede a person in another's regard, devotion, etc.

    • to thwart someone; spoil someone's plans.

  10. rub someone's nose in, to persecute or tease someone persistently about; nag someone about: I know I was wrong but you don't have to rub my nose in it.

  11. turn up one's nose at, to regard with contempt; scorn: My friend turns up his nose at anyone who hasn't had a college education.

  12. under someone's nose, plainly visible to; in full view of; in bold defiance of: The theft took place right under the detective's nose.: Also under someone's very nose.

Origin of nose

before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English nosu; akin to Dutch neus,German Nase,Latin nāsus,Sanskrit nāsā

Other words from nose

  • noseless, adjective
  • noselike, adjective
  • un·nosed, adjective

Words Nearby nose Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use nose in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nose


/ (nəʊz) /

  1. the organ of smell and entrance to the respiratory tract, consisting of a prominent structure divided into two hair-lined air passages by a median septum: Related adjectives: nasal, rhinal

  2. the sense of smell itself: in hounds and other animals, the ability to follow trails by scent (esp in the phrases a good nose, a bad nose)

  1. another word for bouquet (def. 2)

  2. instinctive skill or facility, esp in discovering things (sometimes in the phrase follow one's nose): he had a nose for good news stories

  3. any part regarded as resembling a nose in form or function, such as a nozzle or spout

  4. the forward part of a vehicle, aircraft, etc, esp the front end of an aircraft

  5. narrow margin of victory (in the phrase (win) by a nose)

  6. cut off one's nose to spite one's face to carry out a vengeful action that hurts oneself more than another

  7. get up someone's nose informal to annoy or irritate someone

  8. keep one's nose clean to stay out of trouble; behave properly

  9. keep one's nose to the grindstone to work hard and continuously

  10. lead someone by the nose to make someone do unquestioningly all one wishes; dominate someone

  11. look down one's nose at informal to be contemptuous or disdainful of

  12. nose to tail (of vehicles) moving or standing very close behind one another

  13. on the nose slang

    • (in horse-race betting) to win only: I bet twenty pounds on the nose on that horse

    • mainly US and Canadian precisely; exactly

    • Australian bad or bad-smelling

  14. pay through the nose informal to pay an exorbitant price

  15. poke one's nose into or stick one's nose into informal to pry into or interfere in

  16. put someone's nose out of joint informal to thwart or offend someone, esp by supplanting him or gaining something he regards as his

  17. rub someone's nose in it informal to remind someone unkindly of his failing or error

  18. see no further than one's nose or see no further than the end of one's nose informal

    • to be short-sighted; suffer from myopia

    • to lack insight or foresight

  19. turn up one's nose or turn up one's nose at something informal to behave disdainfully towards (something)

  20. under one's nose

    • directly in front of one

    • without one noticing

  21. with one's nose in the air haughtily

  1. (tr) (esp of horses, dogs, etc) to rub, touch, or sniff with the nose; nuzzle

  2. to smell or sniff (wine, etc)

  1. (intr; usually foll by after or for) to search (for) by or as if by scent

  2. to move or cause to move forwards slowly and carefully: the car nosed along the cliff top; we nosed the car into the garage

  3. (intr; foll by into, around, about, etc) to pry or snoop (into) or meddle (in)

Origin of nose

Old English nosu; related to Old Frisian nose, Norwegian nosa to smell and nus smell

Derived forms of nose

  • noseless, adjective
  • noselike, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with nose


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

also see:

  • 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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.