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See more synonyms for sniffer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that sniffs.
  2. a device or mechanism for detecting something.
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Origin of sniffer

First recorded in 1860–65; sniff + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sniffer

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


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

Word Origin and History for sniffer


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper