snifter

[ snif-ter ]
/ ˈsnɪf tər /

noun

Also called inhaler. a pear-shaped glass, narrowing at the top to intensify the aroma of brandy, liqueur, etc.
Informal. a very small drink of liquor.

Origin of snifter

1840–50; derivative of snifter to sniff, snivel, Middle English snyfter; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for snifter

snifter

/ (ˈsnɪftə) /

noun

a pear-shaped glass with a short stem and a bowl that narrows towards the top so that the aroma of brandy or a liqueur is retained
informal a small quantity of alcoholic drink

Word Origin for snifter

C19: perhaps from dialect snifter to sniff, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish snifta (obsolete) to sniff
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 snifter

snifter


n.

1844, "a drink of liquor," earlier "a sniff," from a Scottish and northern English survival of an obsolete verb snift meaning "to sniff, snivel" (mid-14c.), of imitative origin (cf. sniff (v.)). Meaning "large bulbous stemmed glass for drinking brandy" is from 1937. The association of "drinking liquor" with words for "inhaling, snuffling" (e.g. snort (n.), snootful) is perhaps borrowed from snuff-taking and the nasal reaction to it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper