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[snuhf-uh l] /ˈsnʌf əl/
verb (used without object), snuffled, snuffling.
to draw air into the nose for the purpose of smelling something; snuff.
to draw the breath or mucus through the nostrils in an audible or noisy manner; sniffle; snivel.
to speak through the nose or with a nasal twang.
to whine; snivel.
verb (used with object), snuffled, snuffling.
to utter in a snuffling or nasal tone.
an act or sound of snuffling.
snuffles, a condition of the nose, as from a cold, causing snuffling (usually preceded by the).
a nasal tone of voice.
Origin of snuffle
1575-85; < Dutch snuffelen to nose (in something), derivative of snuffen to snuff1 with frequentative suffix -el-; see -le
Related forms
snuffler, noun
snufflingly, adverb
snuffly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for snuffle
Historical Examples
  • Heralded by the snuffle of the horses, light began glimmering over a chaos of lines and shadows, pale as mother-o'-pearl.

  • From the stable came the snuffle and stamp of a feeding horse.

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • Do not whine or snuffle, but get ahead in the world while you can.

    The Red Conspiracy Joseph J. Mereto
  • snuffle and wheeze—snuffle and wheeze of the asthmatic Chinamans breathing.

    Dust of the Desert Robert Welles Ritchie
  • He walks with haughty paces: He snuffles all he snuffle can: "He scents the Jesuits' traces."

    Faust Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • "You snuffle like a horse when he smells oats," joked the colonel.

    The Song of Songs Hermann Sudermann
  • No sound was heard but the snuffle that came from the plush arm-chair opposite, where Miss Pritchett was audibly weeping.

    A Lost Cause Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • If he snuffle at the nose, he must snuffle cheerfully and with hope.

    Hints to Pilgrims Charles Stephen Brooks
  • I mean to say, when they snift they snift, and when they snuffle they—as it were—snuffle.

    Indiscretions of Archie P. G. Wodehouse
  • And you'll find one of 'em a native born comique who'll make you crack sides with a kick or a snuffle.

British Dictionary definitions for snuffle


(intransitive) to breathe noisily or with difficulty
to say or speak in a nasal tone
(intransitive) to snivel
an act or the sound of snuffling
a nasal tone or voice
the snuffles, a condition characterized by snuffling
Derived Forms
snuffler, noun
snuffly, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Low German or Dutch snuffelen; see snuff1, 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 snuffle

1580s, from Dutch or Flemish snuffelen "to sniff about, pry," related to Dutch and Flemish snuffen "to sniff" (see snuff (v.2)). Related: Snuffled; snuffling.


1764, "sound made by snuffling," from snuffle (v.). Old English had snofl (n.) "phlegm, mucus." The snuffles "troublesome mucous discharge from the nostrils" is from 1770.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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snuffle in Medicine

snuffle snuf·fle (snŭf'əl)
v. snuf·fled, snuf·fling, snuf·fles
To breathe noisily, as through a blocked nose. n.

  1. The act of snuffling.

  2. snuffles Obstructed nasal respiration, especially in a newborn, sometimes due to congenital syphilis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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