snuff

2
[ snuhf ]
/ snʌf /

noun

the charred or partly consumed portion of a candlewick.
a thing of little or no value, especially if left over.

verb (used with object)

to cut off or remove the snuff of (candles, tapers, etc.).

Verb Phrases

snuff out,
  1. to extinguish: to snuff out a candle.
  2. to suppress; crush: to snuff out opposition.
  3. Informal. to kill or murder: Many lives were snuffed out during the epidemic.

Origin of snuff

2
1350–1400; Middle English snoffe < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for snuff out (1 of 3)

snuff1
/ (snʌf) /

verb

(tr) to inhale through the nose
(when intr, often foll by at) (esp of an animal) to examine by sniffing

noun

an act or the sound of snuffing

Derived forms of snuff

snuffer, noun

Word Origin for snuff

C16: probably from Middle Dutch snuffen to snuffle, ultimately of imitative origin

British Dictionary definitions for snuff out (2 of 3)

snuff2
/ (snʌf) /

noun

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
  1. in good health or in good condition
  2. mainly British not easily deceived

verb

(intr) to use or inhale snuff

Word Origin for snuff

C17: from Dutch snuf, shortened from snuftabale, literally: tobacco for snuffing; see snuff 1

British Dictionary definitions for snuff out (3 of 3)

snuff3
/ (snʌf) /

verb (tr)

(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

noun

the burned portion of the wick of a candle

Word Origin for snuff

C14 snoffe, of obscure origin
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

Medicine definitions for snuff out

snuff
[ snŭf ]

v.

To inhale something audibly through the nose; sniff.

n.

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with snuff out (1 of 2)

snuff out

1

Extinguish, put a sudden end to, as in Three young lives were snuffed out in that automobile accident. This usage alludes to snuff in the sense of “put out a candle by pinching the wick,” an area itself called snuff from the late 1300s on. [Mid-1800s]

2

Kill, murder, as in If he told the police, the gang would snuff him out. [Slang; first half of 1900s]

3

Also, snuff it. Die or be killed, as in He looked very ill indeed, as though he might snuff out any day, or Grandpa just snuffed it. [Slang; second half of 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with snuff out (2 of 2)

snuff

In addition to the idiom beginning with snuff

  • snuff out

also see:

  • up to par (snuff)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.