• (RP, GA, CA, AU) enPR: snĭf, IPA: /snɪf/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /snəf/

sniff (sniffs, present participle sniffing; past and past participle sniffed)

  1. (ambitransitive) To make a short, audible inhalation, through the nose, as when smelling something.
    The dog sniffed around the park, searching for a nice scent.
    I sniffed the meat to see whether it had gone off.
  2. To say something while sniffing, for example in case of illness or unhappiness, or in contempt.
    "He's never coming back, is he?" she sniffed while looking at a picture of him.
  3. (transitive) To perceive vaguely
    I can sniff trouble coming from the basement.
  4. To be dismissive or contemptuous of something.
    This opportunity is not to be sniffed at.
  5. (computing) To intercept and analyse packets of data being transmitted over a network.
  6. (slang, UK) To inhale drugs in powder form (usually cocaine) through the nose.
Translations Translations
  • Italian: odorare, snasare
  • Russian: чу́ять
  • Russian: фы́ркать
Translations Noun


  1. (countable) An instance of sniffing.
    She gave the flowers a quick sniff to check they were real.
  2. (countable) A quantity of something that is inhaled through the nose
  3. (countable, colloquial) A brief perception, or tiny amount.
  4. (uncountable, slang) Cocaine.
  • Portuguese: farejada
  • Russian: шмы́гание
  1. A short inhalation sound, sometimes associated with crying.
    • 2009, Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book, page 28
      a wild boar is laughing and Obelix is crying
      Wild boar classified a protected species
      First reaction from dismayed costumers:
      “Boohoohoo! Sniff!”

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