English

Definition of sniff verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    sniff

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//snɪf//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//snɪf//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sniff
    BrE BrE//snɪf//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//snɪf//
     
    he / she / it sniffs
    BrE BrE//snɪfs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//snɪfs//
     
    past simple sniffed
    BrE BrE//snɪft//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//snɪft//
     
    past participle sniffed
    BrE BrE//snɪft//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//snɪft//
     
    -ing form sniffing
    BrE BrE//ˈsnɪfɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsnɪfɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive] to breathe air in through your nose in a way that makes a sound, especially when you are crying, have a cold, etc. We all had colds and couldn't stop sniffing and sneezing. She sniffed a little and dabbed at her eyes.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to breathe air in through the nose in order to discover or enjoy the smell of something synonym smell sniff something sniffing the fresh morning air to sniff glue sniff (at something) The dog sniffed at my shoes. see also glue-sniffing
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] + speech | sniff (something) to say something in a complaining or disapproving way ‘It's hardly what I'd call elegant,’ she sniffed.
  4. Word Origin Middle English: imitative.Extra examples He sniffed appreciatively. ‘Smells delicious. What is it?’ She wiped her eyes and sniffed loudly. The dog sniffed at his shoes. The woman sniffed back her tears. He sniffed loudly and continued to weep. She sniffed and wiped her nose with a tissue.Idioms (informal) good enough to be accepted or considered seriously In those days, $20 was not a sum to be sniffed at. Phrasal Verbssniff around somebodysniff at somethingsniff out somebodysniff round
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sniff