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whiff1

[hwif, wif] /ʰwɪf, wɪf/
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
1585-1595
1585-95; aspirated variant of Middle English weffe whiff (of steam or vapor)
Related forms
whiffer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for whiffer

whiff1

/wɪf/
noun
1.
a passing odour
2.
a brief gentle gust of air
3.
a single inhalation or exhalation from the mouth or nose
verb
4.
to come, convey, or go in whiffs; puff or waft
5.
to take in or breathe out (tobacco smoke, air, etc)
6.
(transitive) to sniff or smell
7.
(intransitive) (Brit, slang) to have an unpleasant smell; stink
Derived Forms
whiffer, noun
Word Origin
C16: of imitative origin

whiff2

/wɪf/
noun
1.
(mainly Brit) a narrow clinker-built skiff having outriggers, for one oarsman
Word Origin
C19: special use of whiff1
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 whiffer

whiff

n.

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" (1560s). 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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Slang definitions & phrases for whiffer

whew

interjection

An exclamation of astonishment, relief, incredulity, etc: It faces ABC's not-nearly-so-formidable Ellen. Whew/ ''Woooeee!'' says Dahl in mock terror

[1890+; probably echoic fr the whistling exhalation of a relieved person]


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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19
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