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English definition of “sniff”

sniff

verb uk   /snɪf/ us  
C2 [I or T] to smell something by taking air in through your nose: He sniffed his socks to see if they needed washing. Dogs love sniffing each other. She sniffed at her glass of wine before tasting it. Dogs are sometimes used at airports to sniff out (= find by smelling) drugs in people's luggage. He was expelled from school for sniffing glue (= taking in the gas from glue because of the feelings of pleasure that this gives). C2 [I] to take air in quickly through your nose, usually to stop the liquid inside the nose from flowing out: You were sniffing a lot - I presumed you had a cold. [T] to speak in an unpleasant way, showing that you have a low opinion of something: [+ speech] "They didn't even serve wine at dinner!" she sniffed.

sniff

noun [C] uk   /snɪf/ us  
a quick breath in through the nose to smell something, or to stop liquid in the nose from coming out: Have a sniff of this medicine - it smells revolting, doesn't it? "I don't think much of that idea," she said with a sniff (= an expression of a low opinion).
(Definition of sniff from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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