cut ones nose to spite ones face


the part of the face or facial region in humans and certain animals that contains the nostrils and the organs of smell and functions as the usual passageway for air in respiration: in humans it is a prominence in the center of the face formed of bone and cartilage, serving also to modify or modulate the voice.
this part as the organ of smell.
the sense of smell: fragrances appealing to the nose.
anything regarded as resembling the nose of a person or animal, as a spout or nozzle.
the prow of a ship.
the forward end of an aircraft.
the forward edge of the head of a golf club.
a projecting part of anything: the nose of a pair of pliers.
a faculty of perceiving or detecting: to have a nose for news.
the human nose regarded as a symbol of meddling or prying: Why can't he keep his nose out of my business?
the length of a nose: The horse won the race by a nose.
the bouquet of an alcoholic drink, especially the distinctive aroma of a wine.
verb (used with object), nosed, nosing.
to perceive by or as by the nose or the sense of smell: a cheese that could be nosed at some distance.
to approach the nose to, as in smelling or examining; sniff.
to move or push forward with or as with the nose: The dog nosed its pup back into the yard. The boat nosed its way toward shore.
to touch or rub with the nose; nuzzle.
verb (used without object), nosed, nosing.
to smell or sniff.
to seek as if by smelling or scent: The dogs nosed after their quarry.
to move or push forward: to nose into the wind.
to meddle or pry (often followed by about, into, etc.): They are always nosing about in other people's business.
Verb phrases
nose out,
to defeat, especially by a narrow margin: The other candidates had been nosed out in the final returns.
to learn or discover, especially by snooping or prying: to nose out a secret.
count noses, to count the number of people in attendance: Each time the troop left an exhibit the leader counted noses.
cut off one's nose to spite one's face, to create a disadvantage to oneself through one's own spiteful action.
follow one's nose,
to go forward in a straight course.
to guide oneself by instinct: I found the house by following my nose.
hold one's nose, to repress feelings of distaste, repulsion, or offense for something that one is obliged to do: He held his nose and voted for the bill.
keep one's nose clean, to behave oneself; avoid trouble or scandal: Did he keep his nose clean after he got out of prison?
keep one's nose to the grindstone. grindstone ( def 3 ).
lead (around) by the nose, to exercise complete control over; dominate totally: He lets his brother lead him by the nose.
look down one's nose at, to regard with disdain or condescension: He had always looked down his nose at those who were poorer than he.
on the nose, Informal.
precisely, correctly, or perfectly.
exactly on time: We made it at ten o'clock on the nose.
(of a bet) for win only.
Australian Informal. decayed or putrid; stinking.
Australian Informal. distasteful or unpleasant; of doubtful validity or propriety.
pay through the nose, to pay an excessive price: They patronize small and exclusive shops where they cheerfully pay through the nose.
put someone's nose out of joint,
to annoy or irritate greatly.
to supersede a person in another's regard, devotion, etc.
to thwart someone; spoil someone's plans.
rub someone's nose in, to persecute or tease someone persistently about; nag someone about: I know I was wrong but you don't have to rub my nose in it.
turn up one's nose at, to regard with contempt; scorn: My friend turns up his nose at anyone who hasn't had a college education.
under someone's nose, plainly visible to; in full view of; in bold defiance of: The theft took place right under the detective's nose. Also, under someone's very nose.

before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English nosu; akin to Dutch neus, German Nase, Latin nāsus, Sanskrit nāsā

noseless, adjective
noselike, adjective
unnosed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To cut ones nose to spite ones face
World English Dictionary
nose (nəʊz)
1.  the organ of smell and entrance to the respiratory tract, consisting of a prominent structure divided into two hair-lined air passages by a median septumRelated: nasal, rhinal
2.  the sense of smell itself: in hounds and other animals, the ability to follow trails by scent (esp in the phrases a good nose, a bad nose)
3.  another word for bouquet
4.  instinctive skill or facility, esp in discovering things (sometimes in the phrase follow one's nose): he had a nose for good news stories
5.  any part regarded as resembling a nose in form or function, such as a nozzle or spout
6.  the forward part of a vehicle, aircraft, etc, esp the front end of an aircraft
7.  narrow margin of victory (in the phrase (win) by a nose)
8.  cut off one's nose to spite one's face to carry out a vengeful action that hurts oneself more than another
9.  informal get up someone's nose to annoy or irritate someone
10.  keep one's nose clean to stay out of trouble; behave properly
11.  keep one's nose to the grindstone to work hard and continuously
12.  lead someone by the nose to make someone do unquestioningly all one wishes; dominate someone
13.  informal look down one's nose at to be contemptuous or disdainful of
14.  nose to tail (of vehicles) moving or standing very close behind one another
15.  slang on the nose
 a.  (in horse-race betting) to win only: I bet twenty pounds on the nose on that horse
 b.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) precisely; exactly
 c.  (Austral) bad or bad-smelling
16.  informal pay through the nose to pay an exorbitant price
17.  informal poke one's nose into, stick one's nose into to pry into or interfere in
18.  informal put someone's nose out of joint to thwart or offend someone, esp by supplanting him or gaining something he regards as his
19.  informal rub someone's nose in it to remind someone unkindly of his failing or error
20.  informal see no further than one's nose, see no further than the end of one's nose
 a.  to be short-sighted; suffer from myopia
 b.  to lack insight or foresight
21.  informal turn up one's nose, turn up one's nose at something to behave disdainfully towards (something)
22.  under one's nose
 a.  directly in front of one
 b.  without one noticing
23.  with one's nose in the air haughtily
24.  (tr) (esp of horses, dogs, etc) to rub, touch, or sniff with the nose; nuzzle
25.  to smell or sniff (wine, etc)
26.  (intr; usually foll by after or for) to search (for) by or as if by scent
27.  to move or cause to move forwards slowly and carefully: the car nosed along the cliff top; we nosed the car into the garage
28.  (intr; foll by into, around, about, etc) to pry or snoop (into) or meddle (in)
Related: nasal, rhinal
[Old English nosu; related to Old Frisian nose, Norwegian nosa to smell and nus smell]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. nosu, from P.Gmc. *nusus (cf. O.N. nös, O.Fris. nose, Du. neus, O.H.G. nasa, Ger. nase), from PIE *nas- (cf. Skt. nasa, O.Pers. naham, O.C.S. nasu, Lith. nosis, L. nasus "nose"). Used to indicate "something obvious" from 1591. The verb sense of "pry, search" first recorded 1648, from the noun.
Pay through the nose (1672) seems to suggest "bleed."
"Kiv, It could bee no other then his owne manne, that had thrust his nose so farre out of ioynte." ["Barnabe Riche His Farewell to Military Profession," 1581]
Many extended senses are from the horse-racing sense of "length of a horse's nose," as a measure of distance between two finishers (1908). Nose-bleed first attested 1848. Nose cone in the space rocket sense is from 1949. Nose job "rhinoplasty" is from 1963; nose dive "sudden large decrease" is 1920, from airplane sense, first attested 1912. To turn up one's nose "show disdain" is from 1818 (earlier hold up one's nose, 1579); similar notion in look down one's nose (1921).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nose (nōz)
The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract.

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