A whiff can mean the hint of something you smell. When you drive past the sewage treatment plant and suddenly roll up your car windows, it's usually because you've gotten a whiff of the plant's special odor.

Whiff can be used as either a noun or verb, and it implies a brief or small puff or sniff. A person can have "a whiff of the exotic," which means they are living like the rest of us, but there is a little something about them that seems foreign or different. Sometimes, of course, odors are so overpowering that a small sniff is all you need: "Take a whiff of this," your friend might say to you, holding out a carton of sour milk. In that case, one whiff will be more than enough.

Definitions of whiff
  1. noun
    a short light gust of air
    synonyms: puff, puff of air
    see moresee less
    type of:
    blast, blow, gust
    a strong current of air
  2. noun
    a strikeout resulting from the batter swinging at and missing the ball for the third strike
    see moresee less
    type of:
    an out resulting from the batter getting three strikes
  3. verb
    drive or carry as if by a puff of air
    “The gust of air whiffed away the clouds”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cause to move by means of an air current
  4. verb
    utter with a puff of air
    whiff out a prayer”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
    express in speech
  5. verb
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    synonyms: sniff
    see moresee less
    type of:
    inhale the odor of; perceive by the olfactory sense
  6. verb
    smoke and exhale strongly
    synonyms: puff
    see moresee less
    type of:
    inhale and exhale smoke from cigarettes, cigars, pipes
  7. verb
    strike out by swinging and missing the pitch charged as the third
    see moresee less
    type of:
    strike out
    put out or be put out by a strikeout
  8. noun
    a lefteye flounder found in coastal waters from New England to Brazil
    see moresee less
    Citharichthys cornutus, horned whiff
    a whiff found in waters from the Bahamas and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil
    type of:
    lefteye flounder, lefteyed flounder
    flatfishes with both eyes on the left side of the head
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week