verb (used without object)
to draw air through the nose in short, audible inhalations.
to clear the nose by so doing; sniffle.
to smell by short inhalations.
to show disdain, contempt, etc., by or as by sniffing.
verb (used with object)
to perceive by or as by smelling: to sniff a scandal.
to inhale through the nose: to sniff the air.
an act of sniffing; a single, short, audible inhalation.
the sound made by such an act.
a scent or odor perceived: a sniff of perfume.

1300–50; Middle English; back formation from snivel

sniffingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sniff (snɪf)
vb (when intr, often foll by at)
1.  to inhale through the nose, usually in short rapid audible inspirations, as for the purpose of identifying a scent, for clearing a congested nasal passage, or for taking a drug or intoxicating fumes
2.  to perceive or attempt to perceive (a smell) by inhaling through the nose
3.  the act or sound of sniffing
4.  a smell perceived by sniffing, esp a faint scent
[C14: probably related to snivelen to snivel]
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., of imitative origin; possibly related to snyvelen (see snivel). As a synonym for smell (v.) it dates from 1845. In ref. to cocaine from 1925. The noun is first recorded 1767; the scornful sense is from 1859.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

Sniff definition

A C++/C programming environment providing browsing, cross-referencing, design visualisation, documentation and editing support. Developed by UBS Switzerland and marketed by takeFive Salzburg.
[Jargon File]

sniff definition


The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
The result, slimy with unfeasible plotting, will gratify those who sniff out
  all politics as a conspiratorial murk.
Sissy-Louise can sniff out a bed being made with fresh sheets from the dryer
  from the other end of the house, out on the patio.
They've had high-school kids around their schoolyard trying to get them to
  sniff glue.
Rather than be rushed, the dog had stopped to sniff a meter.
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