sniff Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “sniff” in the English Dictionary

"sniff" in British English

See all translations

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.
More examples

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

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of sniff?