sniff Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sniff” in the English Dictionary

"sniff" in British English

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sniffverb

uk   us   /snɪf/
C2 [I or T] to ​smell something by taking ​air in through ​yournose: He sniffed his ​socks to ​see if they ​neededwashing. 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 ​yournose, usually to ​stop the ​liquid inside the ​nose from ​flowing out: You're sniffing a lot - do you have a ​cold? [T] to ​speak in an ​unpleasant way, ​showing that you have a ​lowopinion of something: [+ speech] "They didn't ​evenservewine at ​dinner!" she sniffed.

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sniffnoun [C]

uk   us   /snɪf/
a ​quickbreath in through the ​nose to ​smell something, or to ​stopliquid in the ​nose from coming out: Take a sniff of this ​medicine - it ​smellshorrible, doesn't it? "I don't ​think much of that ​idea," she said with a sniff (= an ​expression of a ​lowopinion).
(Definition of sniff from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sniff" in American English

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sniffverb [I/T]

 us   /snɪf/
  • sniff verb [I/T] (SMELL)

to ​smell something by taking in ​air through the ​nose: [T] Jack ​crushed a ​bit of ​driedgrass between his ​fingers and sniffed ​itsscent. To sniff is also to ​quickly take in a ​breath through the ​nose.
  • sniff verb [I/T] (SHOW DISAPPROVAL)

to ​express a ​badopinion of something or someone; to show ​disapproval: [I] The museum’s ​frontlawn does not need to be cluttered with ​sillypopart, sniffed a ​newspapereditorial.
Phrasal verbs

sniffnoun [C]

 /snɪf/
  • sniff noun [C] (QUICK SMELL)

a ​quickbreath in through the ​nose to ​smell something: She took a sniff of the ​medicine.
(Definition of sniff from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“sniff” in British English

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