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nose out

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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

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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

How to use nose out in a sentence

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.
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