adjective, snif·fi·er, snif·fi·est. Informal.

inclined to sniff, as in scorn; disdainful; supercilious: He was very sniffy about breaches of etiquette.

Origin of sniffy

First recorded in 1865–70; sniff + -y1
Related formssniff·i·ly, adverbsniff·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sniffy

Historical Examples of sniffy

  • If she thinks people are unkind to Daisy or sniffy about her, she'll stick to her like a leech.

    East of Suez

    William Somerset Maugham

  • There was the father mouse, and the mother mouse, and Sharpeyes, and Sniffy.

    The Child's World

    Hetty Browne, Sarah Withers, W.K. Tate

  • In the superfine circles of the Sniffy, this fact is sufficient to condemn them unread.

    Side Lights

    James Runciman

  • And—to his shame Raymond heard it gleefully—she had a "sniffy little cold" that made going out impossible.

    The Shield of Silence

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • Then when Amy was so sniffy—excuse me, Amy—about having boys in the party, why, I had to promise not to tell.

    Amy in Acadia

    Helen Leah Reed

British Dictionary definitions for sniffy


adjective -fier or -fiest

informal contemptuous or disdainful
Derived Formssniffily, adverbsniffiness, noun
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