whiff (plural whiffs)

  1. A waft; a brief, gentle breeze; a light gust of air
  2. An odour carried briefly through the air
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 2
      A whiff of rotten eggs had vanquished the pale clouded yellows which came pelting across the orchard and up Dods Hill and away on to the moor […]
  3. A short inhalation or exhalation of breath, especially of smoke from a cigarette or pipe.
    • The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe, / And a scornful laugh laughed he.
  4. (figurative) A slight sign of something; a glimpse.
    • 2012, Ben Smith, Leeds United 2-1 Everton
      This was a rare whiff of the big-time for a club whose staple diet became top-flight football for so long—the glamour was in short supply, however. Thousands of empty seats and the driving Yorkshire rain saw to that.
    • 2012, Frank Underwood, House of Cards
      I can tell you first-hand that we are dealing with a regime that is not being forthright and will seize upon the faintest whiff of trepidation. This is a test to see how far they can push us before we breake.
  5. (baseball) A strike (from the batter’s perspective)
  6. (golf) An attempted shot that completely misses the ball.
  7. The megrim, a fish: Lepidorhombus boscii or Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: cardine franche
  • Russian: мегрим
  • Spanish: gallo, gallo del norte (L. whiffiagonis), gallo de cuatro manchas (L. boscii)

whiff (whiffs, present participle whiffing; past and past participle whiffed)

  1. (transitive) To waft.
  2. (transitive) To sniff.
  3. (intransitive, baseball) To strike out.
  4. (golf) To miss the ball completely.
  5. (slang) To attempt to strike and miss, especially being off-balance/vulnerable after missing.
  6. To throw out in whiffs; to consume in whiffs; to puff.
  7. To carry or convey by a whiff, or as by a whiff; to puff or blow away.
    • 1620, Ben Jonson, News from the New World Discovered in the Moon
      Old Empedocles, […] who, when he leaped into Etna, having a dry, sear body, and light, the smoke took him, and whift him up into the moon.
  8. (colloquial) To have or give off a strong, unpleasant smell.
  • Russian: дуть
  • Russian: принюхиваться


  1. (colloquial) Having a strong or unpleasant odor.
    • 2002: Jim Rozen, Way oil in rec.crafts.metalworking ↗
      Whoo boy that gear oil is pretty whiff. If you actually do this, spend the extra money for the synthetic gear oil as it will not have as bad a sulfur stink as the regular stuff.

whiff (whiffs, present participle whiffing; past and past participle whiffed)

  1. To fish with a handline.

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.004
Offline English dictionary