Old English nosu, from Proto-Germanic *nusus (cf. Old Norse nös, Old Frisian nose, Dutch neus, Old High German nasa, German Nase), from PIE *nas- "nose" (cf. Sanskrit nasa, Old Persian naham, Old Church Slavonic nasu, Lithuanian nosis, Latin nasus "nose"). Used of any prominent or projecting part from 1530s. (nose cone in the space rocket sense is from 1949). Used to indicate "something obvious" from 1590s. Meaning "odor, scent" is from 1894.
Kiv, It could bee no other then his owne manne, that had thrust his nose so farre out of ioynte. ["Barnabe Riche His Farewell to Military Profession," 1581]Pay through the nose (1670s) seems to suggest "bleed." Many extended meanings are from the horse-racing sense of "length of a horse's nose," as a measure of distance between two finishers (1908). To turn up one's nose "show disdain" is from 1818 (earlier hold up one's nose, 1570s); similar notion in look down one's nose (1921). To say something is under (one's) nose "in plain view" is from 1540s.
"perceive the smell of," 1570s; "pry, search," 1640s, from nose (n.). Related: Nosed; nosing.
The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract.
To avoid doing wrong or seeming to do wrong; stay above reproach: If you only keep your nose clean, you'll have it
[1887+; fr a traditional injunction of a mother to a child to wipe its nose, wash behind its ears, etc]
A police informer; stool pigeon (1830+ Underworld)Related Terms
bluenose, by a nose, dog's-nose, hard-nosed, have a bug up one's ass, keep one's nose clean, look down one's nose, no skin off my ass, on the nose, pay through the nose, poke one's nose into something,powder one's nose, put someone's nose out of joint