a person or thing that sniffs.
a device or mechanism for detecting something.

Origin of sniffer

First recorded in 1860–65; sniff + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sniffer

Contemporary Examples of sniffer

  • Existing methodology can involve plough-like, armor-plated machines, handheld metal detectors and sniffer dogs.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Diana Landmine Conspiracies Return

    Martyn Gregory

    June 6, 2010

  • In the face of such compelling images, the immediate response is to send money, food, medicines, relief workers, sniffer dogs.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Rights Amid the Rubble

    Elizabeth Ferris

    January 13, 2010

Historical Examples of sniffer

  • She had seen hell, one might say, and is the Sphynxian sniffer at the value of a secret.

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley

  • He has had ten dollars' worth of telling to-day by 'Sniffer' Orne.

  • Perhaps the spirit of the sniffer may still inspire some of the jurors who from time to time make themselves heard in your case.

British Dictionary definitions for sniffer



a device for detecting hidden substances such as drugs or explosives, esp by their odour
a computer program or device used to monitor, detect, and capture data on a network
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

Word Origin and History for sniffer

"the nose," 1858, agent noun from sniff (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper