What does sniff mean?

Definitions for sniff

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word sniff.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sniff, snuff(verb)

    sensing an odor by inhaling through the nose

  2. sniff, whiff(verb)

    perceive by inhaling through the nose

    "sniff the perfume"

  3. sniff, sniffle(verb)

    inhale audibly through the nose

    "the sick student was sniffling in the back row"


  1. sniff(Noun)

    An instance of sniffing.

    She gave the flowes a quick sniff to check they were real.

  2. sniff(Noun)

    A quantity of something that is inhaled through the nose

  3. sniff(Noun)

    A brief perception

  4. sniff(Verb)

    To make a short, audible inhalation, through the nose, as if to smell something.

  5. sniff(Verb)

    To say something while sniffing, for example in case of illness or unhappiness

    "He's never coming back, is he?", she sniffed while looking at a picture of him.

  6. sniff(Verb)

    To perceive vaguely

    I can sniff trouble coming from the basement.

  7. sniff(Verb)

    To be dismissive or contemptuous of something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sniff(verb)

    to draw air audibly up the nose; to snuff; -- sometimes done as a gesture of suspicion, offense, or contempt

  2. Sniff(verb)

    to draw in with the breath through the nose; as, to sniff the air of the country

  3. Sniff(verb)

    to perceive as by sniffing; to snuff, to scent; to smell; as, to sniff danger

  4. Sniff(noun)

    the act of sniffing; perception by sniffing; that which is taken by sniffing; as, a sniff of air

  5. Origin: [OE. sneven; akin to snivel, snuff; cf. Dan. snive to sniff. See Snuff, v. t.]


  1. Sniff

    Sniff is a character in the Moomin series of books by Finnish author Tove Jansson. Sniff is Moomintroll's immature friend and later adopted brother. He is the son of the Muddler and the Fuzzy. He is one of the few characters in the Moomin series who is sincerely interested in money, and is always on the lookout for another way to get rich quick. This trait in him is often played as a contrast to Snufkin, who doesn't care much about worldly belongings, and their two different philosophies sometimes clash—although Snufkin is generally portrayed as the wiser of the two. Particularly in the earlier books, Sniff seems to be younger than the other major characters, and many of his negative qualities can be said to be those of a thoughtless child; he is selfish, greedy and quick to push all responsibility over on other people, but he is not malicious or mean-spirited. He's also easily frightened or upset, and not very fond of taking risks, although he will often overcome his fears if there's a chance of treasure or wealth. Sniff is one of the first characters introduced in the series; in fact, he is the first person Moomintroll and Moominmamma encounter on their journey in The Moomins and the Great Flood, although he has not yet been given an actual name and is referred throughout the story simply as "the small creature."

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sniff

    snif, v.t. to draw in with the breath through the nose.—v.i. to snuff or draw in air sharply through the nose: to snuff.—n. perception of smell: a short sharp inhalation, or the sound made by such.—v.i. Snif′fle, to snuffle.—n. Snif′fler, a slight breeze.—adj. Snif′fy, inclined to be disdainful.—vs.i. Snift, to sniff, snivel; Snift′er, to sniff.—n. a sniff: (pl.) stoppage of the nasal passages in catarrh: (slang) a dram: (U.S.) a severe storm.—n. Snift′ing-valve, an air-valve connecting with a steam-cylinder, as in a condensing engine—also Tail-valve, Blow-valve.—adj. Snift′y (slang), having a tempting smell. [Scand.; Dan. snive, snuff; Ger. schnieben.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. sniff

    1. To watch packets traversing a network. Most often in the phrase packet sniffer, a program for doing same. 2. Synonym for poll.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sniff' in Verbs Frequency: #1054

How to pronounce sniff?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say sniff in sign language?

  1. sniff


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sniff in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sniff in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of sniff in a Sentence

  1. James Feldkamp:

    [The report] does pass the sniff test.

  2. Loren:

    Like the herd animals we are, we sniff warily at the strange one among us.

  3. Liron Rozenkrantz:

    What we measure, the sniff response, is quite intuitive (and) adults and children with typical development react similarly.

  4. Robert Selhorst:

    One of my dogs went under the fence to sniff his dogs, my dog’s tail was wagging. He was just sniffing his dog and the guy, like night and day, flipped out.

  5. Khadija Abraham:

    Experiments show that these rats can detect a sample with TB parasites in a second and evidence has shown that they are able to sniff out even those with very minimal parasites.

Images & Illustrations of sniff

  1. sniffsniffsniffsniffsniff

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sniff

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • schnüffelnGerman
  • olfatearSpanish
  • nuuhkaista, nuuhkaus, nyrpistelläFinnish
  • reniflerFrench
  • szippant, fanyalog, szippantás, szimatol, fintorogHungarian
  • whakamonoMāori
  • pociągać nosem, węszyć, niuchaćPolish
  • sinq'ayQuechua
  • сопение, принюхиваться, фыркнуть, шмыгание, шмыгать, шмыгнуть, принюхаться, фыркатьRussian

Get even more translations for sniff »


Find a translation for the sniff definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss these sniff definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"sniff." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 23 Sep. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sniff>.

Are we missing a good definition for sniff? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for sniff:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.