Sniff out

World English Dictionary
sniff out
 
vb
(tr, adverb) to detect through shrewdness or instinct

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sniff out

Uncover, as If there's anything to that rumor, Gladys will sniff it out. This expression alludes to an animal sniffing for prey. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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