verb (used without object)
  1. (of animals) to force the breath violently through the nostrils with a loud, harsh sound: The spirited horse snorted and shied at the train.
  2. (of persons) to express contempt, indignation, etc., by a similar sound.
  3. Slang. to take a drug by inhaling.
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter with a snort.
  2. to expel (air, sound, etc.) by or as by snorting.
  3. Slang. to take (a drug) by inhaling: to snort cocaine.
  1. the act or sound of snorting.
  2. Slang. a quick drink of liquor; shot.
  3. Slang.
    1. an act or instance of taking a drug by inhalation.
    2. the amount of drug inhaled.
  4. British. snorkel.

Origin of snort

1325–75; Middle English snorten (v.); probably akin to snore
Related formssnort·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for snorting

grunt, blow, breathe, snore, pant, drink, sound, laugh, puff

Examples from the Web for snorting

Contemporary Examples of snorting

Historical Examples of snorting

  • His tail was up, he was snorting loudly, and he headed straight for the hammock.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The Colonel was conveyed, snorting apoplectically, to his room.

  • There are long lines of freight cars here and snorting locomotives.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • He rose from his knees after listening to the snorting of the stove.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • The horse backed away on three legs, snorting with indignation.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

British Dictionary definitions for snorting


  1. (intr) to exhale forcibly through the nostrils, making a characteristic noise
  2. (intr) (of a person) to express contempt or annoyance by such an exhalation
  3. (tr) to utter in a contemptuous or annoyed manner
  4. slang to inhale (a powdered drug) through the nostrils
  1. a forcible exhalation of air through the nostrils, esp (of persons) as a noise of contempt or annoyance
  2. slang an instance of snorting a drug
  3. Also called: snorter slang a short drink, esp an alcoholic one
  4. slang the snorkel on a submarine
Derived Formssnorting, noun, adjectivesnortingly, adverb

Word Origin for snort

C14 snorten; probably related to snoren to snore
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 snorting



late 14c., "to snore," probably related to snore (v.). Meaning "breathe through the nose with a harsh sound" first recorded 1520s. Sense of "express contempt" is from 1818. Meaning "to inhale cocaine" is first attested 1935. Related: Snorted; snorting. American English snorter "something fierce or furious" is from 1833.



1808, "act of snorting," from snort (v.). Meaning "a drink of liquor" (especially whiskey) is from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper