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[snif-er] /ˈsnɪf ər/
a person or thing that sniffs.
a device or mechanism for detecting something.
Origin of sniffer
1860-65; sniff + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sniffer
  • The device is a thousand times more sensitive than the current gold standard in explosives detection: the sniffer dog.
  • Specially trained sniffer dogs can smell something on the breath of lung cancer patients.
  • Sometimes a small, friendly sniffer dog comes around for a preliminary check.
  • The group doesn't stick a sniffer inside a closed car and consult a gauge.
  • Installing a packet sniffer does not necessarily require administrator-level access.
  • Consider purchase of an electronic sniffer to detect leaks.
British Dictionary definitions for sniffer


a device for detecting hidden substances such as drugs or explosives, esp by their odour
a computer program or device used to monitor, detect, and capture data on a network
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sniffer

"the nose," 1858, agent noun from sniff (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sniffer



Contemptible; mean; nasty, esp in an insinuating way • Now used nearly exclusively in reference to remarks and persons who make them: A woman gets nothing but snide remarks about her driving skills

[1859+; origin unknown]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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sniffer in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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