nose out


verb (tr, adverb)

to discover by smelling
to discover by cunning or persistencethe reporter managed to nose out a few facts
informal to beat by a narrow marginhe was nosed out of first place by the champion

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
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

Idioms and Phrases with nose out

nose out

1

Defeat by a narrow margin, as in She barely nosed out the incumbent. This expression, alluding to a horse's winning with its nose in front, has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s.

2

Discover, especially something hidden or secret, as in This reporter has a knack for nosing out the truth. This usage alludes to following the scent of something. [Early 1600s]

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