Meaning of SNIFF in English

(~s, ~ing, ~ed)


When you ~, you breathe in air through your nose hard enough to make a sound, for example when you are trying not to cry, or in order to show disapproval.

She wiped her face and ~ed loudly...

Then he ~ed. There was a smell of burning...

He ~ed back the tears.

VERB: V, V, V n with adv

Sniff is also a noun.

At last the sobs ceased, to be replaced by ~s.



If you ~ something or ~ at it, you smell it by ~ing.

Suddenly, he stopped and ~ed the air...

She ~ed at it suspiciously.

VERB: V n, V at n


You can use ~ to indicate that someone says something in a way that shows their disapproval or contempt.

‘Tourists!’ she ~ed.

VERB: V with quote


If you say that something is not to be ~ed at, you think it is very good or worth having. If someone ~s at something, they do not think it is good enough, or they express their contempt for it.

The salary was not to be ~ed at either...

Foreign Office sources ~ed at reports that British troops might be sent.

VERB: usu passive, usu with brd-neg, be V-ed at , V at n


If someone ~s a substance such as glue, they deliberately breathe in the substance or the gases from it as a drug.

He felt light-headed, as if he’d ~ed glue.


~er (~ers)

...teenage glue ~ers.



If you get a ~ of something, you learn or guess that it might be happening or might be near. (INFORMAL)

You know what they’ll be like if they get a ~ of a murder investigation...

Have the Press got a ~ yet?...

Then, at the first ~ of danger, he was back at his post.

= whiff, hint

N-SING: usu N of n

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .