- to draw in through the nose by inhaling.
- to perceive by or as by smelling; sniff.
- to examine by smelling, as an animal does.
- to draw air into the nostrils by inhaling, as to smell something; snuffle: After snuffing around, he found the gas leak.
- to draw powdered tobacco into the nostrils; take snuff.
- Obsolete. to express disdain, contempt, displeasure, etc., by sniffing (often followed by at).
- an act of snuffing; an inhalation through the nose; a sniff.
- smell, scent, or odor.
- a preparation of tobacco, either powdered and taken into the nostrils by inhalation or ground and placed between the cheek and gum.
- a pinch of such tobacco.
- up to snuff, Informal.
- British.not easily imposed upon; shrewd; sharp.
- up to a certain standard; satisfactory: His performance wasn't up to snuff.
Origin of snuff1
- the charred or partly consumed portion of a candlewick.
- a thing of little or no value, especially if left over.
- to cut off or remove the snuff of (candles, tapers, etc.).
- snuff out,
- to extinguish: to snuff out a candle.
- to suppress; crush: to snuff out opposition.
- Informal.to kill or murder: Many lives were snuffed out during the epidemic.
Origin of snuff2
Examples from the Web for snuff
Contemporary Examples of snuff
He could imagine himself an Islamist avenger like that masked monster in black who appears in the ISIS snuff videos.The Muslim Convert Behind America’s First Workplace Beheading
September 27, 2014
He packed a large pinch of the snuff against his bottom gum.Short Stories from The Daily Beast: Four Hundred Grand
July 6, 2014
Even as Valle sat in court this week, the 364 various groups on DFN included one called Cannibalism, Snuff with 835 members.Cannibal Cop’s Dark Fetishes Detailed in Grisly Trial Testimony
February 27, 2013
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening, Talk honestly, for no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.A Eulogy for Marie Colvin
March 14, 2012
Pelosi and Reid will work to snuff out any legislation that could force Obama to take unpopular stands.Freshmen Hit the Hill
Samuel P. Jacobs
January 4, 2011
Historical Examples of snuff
When he had said it, he took a culminating pinch of snuff, and put his box in his pocket.A Tale of Two Cities
The head of the animal was tossed; then it seemed to snuff the air, and it gave a shriek.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
She has left off chewing and smoking, having found a refuge in snuff.
I must have a care I don't get some of that snuff out of his nose.The Politician Out-Witted
Against the regulations of the College, he used to bring in snuff to the other scholars.A Zola Dictionary
J. G. Patterson
- (tr) to inhale through the nose
- (when intr, often foll by at) (esp of an animal) to examine by sniffing
- an act or the sound of snuffing
Word Origin for snuff
- finely powdered tobacco for sniffing up the nostrils or less commonly for chewing
- a small amount of this
- any powdered substance, esp one for sniffing up the nostrils
- up to snuff informal
- in good health or in good condition
- mainly Britishnot easily deceived
- (intr) to use or inhale snuff
Word Origin for snuff
- (often foll by out) to extinguish (a light from a naked flame, esp a candle)
- to cut off the charred part of (the wick of a candle, etc)
- (usually foll by out) informal to suppress; put an end to
- snuff it British informal to die
- the burned portion of the wick of a candle
Word Origin for snuff
"to cut or pinch off the burned part of a candle wick," mid-15c., from noun snoffe "burned part of a candle wick" (late 14c.), of unknown origin, perhaps related to snuff (v.2). The meaning "to die" is from 1865; that of "to kill" is from 1932; snuff-film, originally an urban legend, is from 1975.
"draw in through the nose," 1520s, from Dutch or Flemish snuffen "to sniff, snuff," related to Dutch snuiven "to sniff," from Proto-Germanic *snuf- (cf. Middle High German snupfe, German Schnupfen "head-cold"), imitative of the sound of drawing air through the nose (see snout). Related: Snuffed; snuffing.
"powdered tobacco to be inhaled," 1680s, from Dutch or Flemish snuf, shortened form of snuftabak "snuff tobacco," from snuffen "to sniff, snuff" (see snuff (v.2)). The practice became fashionable in England c.1680. Slang phrase up to snuff "knowing, sharp, wide-awake, not likely to be deceived" is from 1811; the exact sense is obscure unless it refers to the "elevating" properties of snuff.
- To inhale something audibly through the nose; sniff.
- A preparation of finely pulverized tobacco that can be drawn up into the nostrils by inhaling.
- A medicated powder inhaled through or blown into the nose.
In addition to the idiom beginning with snuff
- snuff out
- up to par (snuff)