Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sniff”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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)
What is the pronunciation of sniff?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sniff” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hyphen

the symbol -, used to join two words together, or to show that a word has been divided into two parts at the end of one line and the beginning of the next

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More