What does sniff mean?

Definitions for sniff

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sniff, snuffverb

    sensing an odor by inhaling through the nose

  2. sniff, whiffverb

    perceive by inhaling through the nose

    "sniff the perfume"

  3. sniff, sniffleverb

    inhale audibly through the nose

    "the sick student was sniffling in the back row"


  1. sniffnoun

    An instance of sniffing.

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

  2. sniffnoun

    A quantity of something that is inhaled through the nose

  3. sniffnoun

    A brief perception

  4. sniffverb

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

  5. sniffverb

    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. sniffverb

    To perceive vaguely

    I can sniff trouble coming from the basement.

  7. sniffverb

    To be dismissive or contemptuous of something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sniffverb

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

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

  2. Sniffverb

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

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

  3. Sniffverb

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

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

  4. Sniffnoun

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

    Etymology: [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.

Matched Categories

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. 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. Loren:

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

  2. Claire Guest:

    There have already been so many fantastic achievements in the dogs work to detect human disease, and I believe they can be trained to sniff out COVID-19.

  3. Franklin Templeton:

    If we do get a little sniff of higher yields or a wee bit of inflation or even a return to growth or even the Fed trying to get through to a second rate hike, we think the valuations (of banks) could start to reflect an improving fundamental scenario.

  4. Jerry Guilbert:

    Before we send humans in to clear a building or check that critical infrastructure site for IED contamination, one of things that we'll do is bring these specially-trained mine detecting dogs up to sniff the perimeter, determine if there are explosives in that building and based on where the dogs may be indicating, find out where in the building perhaps do we think those explosive hazards are.

  5. James Feldkamp:

    [The report] does pass the sniff test.

Images & Illustrations of sniff

  1. sniffsniffsniffsniffsniff

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Translations for sniff

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • شمArabic
  • 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

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    excessively agitated; distraught with fear or other violent emotion
    • A. abrupt
    • B. frantic
    • C. alternate
    • D. noninvasive

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