sniffing

sniff

[snif]
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:
1300–50; Middle English; back formation from snivel

sniffingly, adverb
Dictionary.com 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
 
n
3.  the act or sound of sniffing
4.  a smell perceived by sniffing, esp a faint scent
 
[C14: probably related to snivelen to snivel]
 
'sniffing
 
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sniff
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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