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snifter

[snif-ter] /ˈsnɪf tər/
noun
1.
Also called inhaler. a pear-shaped glass, narrowing at the top to intensify the aroma of brandy, liqueur, etc.
2.
Informal. a very small drink of liquor.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; derivative of snifter to sniff, snivel, Middle English snyfter; imitative
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for snifters

snifter

/ˈsnɪftə/
noun
1.
a pear-shaped glass with a short stem and a bowl that narrows towards the top so that the aroma of brandy or a liqueur is retained
2.
(informal) a small quantity of alcoholic drink
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from dialect snifter to sniff, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish snifta (obsolete) to sniff
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for snifters

snifter

n.

1844, "a drink of liquor," earlier "a sniff," from a Scottish and northern English survival of an obsolete verb snift meaning "to sniff, snivel" (mid-14c.), of imitative origin (cf. sniff (v.)). Meaning "large bulbous stemmed glass for drinking brandy" is from 1937. The association of "drinking liquor" with words for "inhaling, snuffling" (e.g. snort (n.), snootful) is perhaps borrowed from snuff-taking and the nasal reaction to it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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