to draw air through the nose in short, audible inhalations.
to clear the nose by so doing; sniffle.
to smell by short inhalations.
to show disdain, contempt, etc., by or as by sniffing.
to perceive by or as by smelling: to sniff a scandal.
to inhale through the nose: to sniff the air.
an act of sniffing; a single, short, audible inhalation.
the sound made by such an act.
a scent or odor perceived: a sniff of perfume.
- sniff·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sniff in a sentence
While such a tool is preferable for research, doing a daily smell test for public health reasons does not require a bespoke sniff card.Daily DIY Sniff Checks Could Catch Many Cases Of COVID-19 | LGBTQ-Editor | December 17, 2020 | No Straight News
Batwoman crawled into the thick foliage and gingerly pulled some leaves for a sniff.On a cool night in Malaysia, scientists track mysterious colugos across the treetops | Yao-Hua Law | November 20, 2020 | Science News
Even though a sniff test would suggest that is ludicrous, at least from an American perspective.
Sniffing Tory conspiracies under every Whitehall bed, ours specially?Iran’s Top Spy Is the Modern-Day Karla, John Le Carré’s Villainous Mastermind | Michael Weiss | July 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A dirty red dog stands at the corner of Beale and Hernando, sniffing the air.Stanley Booth on the Life and Hard Times of Blues Genius Furry Lewis | Stanley Booth | June 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
We found old Hawberk, neatly attired in a fresh spring suit, standing at the door of his shop and sniffing the air.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show | Robert W. Chambers | February 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A computer sniffing for signals of crime only wanders as far as the code allows.It’s Time to Rewrite the Internet to Give Us Better Privacy, and Security | Lawrence Lessig | June 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
We actually had an EOD bomb-sniffing dog along with us on the last excursion.Marine First Lieutenant Nathan Krissoff’s Last Letters Home From Iraq | Matt Pottinger | May 26, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
There was the same sniffing and scratching as before, and I felt the tent give a little as when wind shakes it.Three More John Silence Stories | Algernon Blackwood
Watch capered about furiously, taking little swims in the pool and sniffing at all the dear old familiar things.The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
De Valmont's horse was pawing and sniffing uneasily, but Rollo stood firm as a rock.God Wills It! | William Stearns Davis
The house seemed lonely as I wandered through it, sniffing the strong odour of fresh paint.The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
Fresh and sweet from her toilet as a dew-drenched rose, Miss Barrison stood there sniffing the morning air daintily, thoroughly.In Search of the Unknown | Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for sniff
to inhale through the nose, usually in short rapid audible inspirations, as for the purpose of identifying a scent, for clearing a congested nasal passage, or for taking a drug or intoxicating fumes
(when intr, often foll by at) to perceive or attempt to perceive (a smell) by inhaling through the nose
the act or sound of sniffing
a smell perceived by sniffing, esp a faint scent
- sniffing, noun, 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