Smell that cake baking? No? Take a sniff. A sniff is when you take air in through your nose to smell something.

Dogs sniff a lot. It's how they get to know the world. Imagine this when you see the figurative use for sniff meaning to snoop as in, "The detective was sniffing around for clues." Sniff is one of those words that sound like what they mean. Take a big sniff and listen, you'll see. If you have a cold, and you keep sniffing, you have what's known as the sniffles.

Definitions of sniff
  1. verb
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    sniff the perfume”
    synonyms: whiff
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    type of:
    inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
  2. verb
    inhale audibly through the nose
    synonyms: sniffle
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    type of:
    breathe in, inhale, inspire
    draw in (air)
  3. noun
    sensing an odor by inhaling through the nose
    synonyms: snuff
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    type of:
    smell, smelling
    the act of perceiving the odor of something
Word Family