whiff

1 [hwif, wif]
noun
1.
a slight gust or puff of wind, air, vapor, smoke, or the like: a whiff of fresh air.
2.
a slight trace of odor or smell: a whiff of onions.
3.
a single inhalation or exhalation of air, tobacco smoke, or the like.
4.
a trace or hint: a whiff of scandal.
5.
a slight outburst: a little whiff of temper.
verb (used without object)
6.
to blow or come in whiffs or puffs, as wind or smoke.
7.
to inhale or exhale whiffs, as in smoking tobacco.
8.
Baseball Slang. (of a batter) to strike out by swinging at and missing the pitch charged as the third strike.
verb (used with object)
9.
to blow or drive with a whiff or puff, as the wind does.
10.
to inhale or exhale (air, tobacco smoke, etc.) in whiffs.
11.
to smoke (a pipe, cigar, etc.).
12.
Baseball Slang. (of a pitcher) to cause (a batter) to whiff.

Origin:
1585–95; aspirated variant of Middle English weffe whiff (of steam or vapor)

whiffer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged

whiff

2 [hwif, wif]
noun
any of several flatfishes having both eyes on the left side of the head, of the genus Citharichthys, as C. cornutus (horned whiff) inhabiting Atlantic waters from New England to Brazil.


Origin:
1705–15; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
whiff1 (wɪf)
 
n
1.  a passing odour
2.  a brief gentle gust of air
3.  a single inhalation or exhalation from the mouth or nose
 
vb
4.  to come, convey, or go in whiffs; puff or waft
5.  to take in or breathe out (tobacco smoke, air, etc)
6.  (tr) to sniff or smell
7.  slang (Brit) (intr) to have an unpleasant smell; stink
 
[C16: of imitative origin]
 
'whiffer1
 
n

whiff2 (wɪf)
 
n
chiefly (Brit) a narrow clinker-built skiff having outriggers, for one oarsman
 
[C19: special use of whiff1]

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

whiff
13c., weffe "foul scent or odor," of imitative origin. Modern form became popular late 16c. with tobacco smoking, probably influenced by whiffle "blow in gusts or puffs" (1568). The verb in the baseball slang sense "to swing at a ball and miss" first recorded 1913.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Use their incredible sense of smell to whiff out explosives.
At the firs whiff, every engine on every train will grind to a collective halt until the track is returned.
When a group of bed bugs gets disturbed, you may get a whiff of that odor,
  which is similar to the odor stink bugs give off.
Your family and friends will wake up quickly after getting a whiff of these
  fluffy pancakes.
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