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sniff

[snif] /snɪf/
verb (used without object)
1.
to draw air through the nose in short, audible inhalations.
2.
to clear the nose by so doing; sniffle.
3.
to smell by short inhalations.
4.
to show disdain, contempt, etc., by or as by sniffing.
verb (used with object)
5.
to perceive by or as by smelling:
to sniff a scandal.
6.
to inhale through the nose:
to sniff the air.
noun
7.
an act of sniffing; a single, short, audible inhalation.
8.
the sound made by such an act.
9.
a scent or odor perceived:
a sniff of perfume.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; back formation from snivel
Related forms
sniffingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sniffing

sniff

/snɪf/
verb
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.
when intr, often foll by at. to perceive or attempt to perceive (a smell) by inhaling through the nose
noun
3.
the act or sound of sniffing
4.
a smell perceived by sniffing, esp a faint scent
Derived Forms
sniffing, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably related to snivelen to snivel
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 sniffing

sniff

v.

mid-14c., of imitative origin; possibly related to snyvelen (see snivel). As an expression of scorn or contempt from 1729. As a synonym for smell (v.) it dates from 1845. In reference to cocaine from 1925. Related: Sniffed; sniffing.

n.

1767, from sniff (v.); the scornful sense is from 1859.

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

sniff

verb

To inhale a narcotic powder; snort (1920s+ Narcotics)


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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