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early 13c., "trunk or projecting nose of an animal," from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch snute "snout," from Proto-Germanic *snut- (cf. German Schnauze, Norwegian snut, Danish snude "snout"), which Watkins traces to a hypothetical Germanic root *snu- forming words having to do with the nose, imitative of a sudden drawing of breath (cf. Old English gesnot "nasal mucus;" German schnauben "pant, puff, snort" (Austrian dialect), schnaufen "breathe heavily, pant," Schnupfen "cold in the head"). Of other animals and (contemptuously) of humans from c.1300.