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1. The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract.
2. The sense of smell: a dog with a good nose.
3. The ability to detect, sense, or discover as if by smell: has a nose for gossip.
4. The characteristic smell of a wine or liqueur; bouquet.
5. Informal The nose considered as a symbol of prying: Keep your nose out of my business.
6. Something, such as the forward end of an aircraft, rocket, or submarine, that resembles a nose in shape or position.
7. A very short distance or narrow margin: won the race by a nose.
v. nosed, nos·ing, nos·es
1. To find out by or as if by smell: nosed out the thieves' hiding place.
2. To touch with the nose; nuzzle.
3. To move, push, or make with or as if with the nose.
4. To advance the forward part of cautiously: nosed the car into the flow of traffic.
1. To smell or sniff.
2. Informal To search or inquire meddlesomely; snoop or pry: nosing around looking for opportunities.
3. To advance with caution: The ship nosed into its berth.
Phrasal Verb:
nose out
To defeat by a narrow margin.
down (one's) nose Informal
With disapproval, contempt, or arrogance: Year-round residents here look down their noses at the summer people.
on the nose
Exactly; precisely: predicted the final score on the nose.
under (someone's) nose
In plain view: The keys are right under your nose.

[Middle English, from Old English nosu; see nas- in Indo-European roots.]




  1. A fabulous outsized nose attached to his face like a sheltering of stone —Pat Conroy
  2. A flattish nose like a prizefighter —Beryl Bainbridge
  3. His nose made two twists from bridge to end, like the wriggle of a snake —O. Henry
  4. His nose stuck out like the first joint of a thumb —Frederick O. Brien
  5. His nostrils heaved like a pair of blacksmith’s bellows —Isaac Babel
  6. A large nose like a trumpet —Edward Lear
  7. Little snub nose, like a bulldog’s —Colette
  8. A long narrow nose which clung against his face as if reluctant to leave it —MacKinlay Kantor
  9. A long nose flattened as if it had been tied down —Willa Cather
  10. A long pink nose like a crooked beckoning finger in the middle of his face —Sue Miller
  11. Nose … as big as an orange and the skin stretched over it was pebbled like an orange —François Camoin

    See Also: SKIN

  12. Nose broad as a teacup —Carolyn Chute
  13. Nose … crackled with tiny veins, like the nose of a hardened boozer —Gavin Lyall
  14. A nose like a Bartlett pear —James Whitcomb Riley
  15. A nose like a battering ram —Ross Macdonald
  16. Nose like a bone —Ivan Bunin
  17. A nose like a boot —Michael Gilbert
  18. Nose like a butcher’s thumb —Mary Hedin
  19. Nose like a delicate scythe —Mary Hedin
  20. Nose like a duck’s bill —Ivan Turgenev
  21. Nose [of a heavy drinker] like a fire ball —Erich Maria Remarque
  22. Nose like a gherkin —Jonathan Valin
  23. Nose like a jungle-bird’s —William H. Gass
  24. Nose like a knife blade —R. Wright Campbell
  25. Nose like a letter opener —Jonathan Valin
  26. Nose [Julius Caesar’s] like an elephant’s trunk —George Bernard Shaw
  27. Nose like an engorged purple potato —Sarah Bird
  28. Nose like a parrot’s beak —Honoré de Balzac
  29. Nose like a scimitar —William H. Hallhan
  30. A nose like a spear in youth, in middle age becomes more like a shield, and in old age a little bit of a thing that looks like a button —William Saroyan
  31. Nose like a sponge —Maxim Gorky
  32. Nose like a turkey’s ass —Robert Campbell
  33. Nose like the beak of a bird —Anton Chekhov

    A more specific variant by Donald MacKenzie: nose like a falcon’s beak.

  34. Nose … long, like the nose in some old Italian pictures —Walter De La Mare
  35. Nose … sharp as a pen —William Shakespeare
  36. Nose small and laid back with about as much loft as a light iron —P. G. Wodehouse
  37. A nose that seemed to have been bent by a tire iron —Jimmy Breslin and Dick Schaap
  38. Nose was like a wooden peg —Truman Capote
  39. Nose was very short, just like a baby’s —Joyce Cary
  40. Nostrils flaring like a colt’s in winter —Charles Johnson
  41. Nostrils flaring like a trotter —Joan Hess
  42. Nostrils heaving like a stallion’s —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  43. Nostrils … shaped like the wings of a swallow —Oscar Wilde
  44. Roman nose stuck up like the beak of a predatory bird —Carlos Baker
  45. A straight nose, like a crusader modelled on a tomb —Antonia Fraser
  46. An upturning nose like that of the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland —Frank Swinnerton
References in classic literature ?
But Amy had not forgotten Miss Snow's cutting remarks about `some persons whose noses were not too flat to smell other people's limes, and stuck-up people who were not too proud to ask for them', and she instantly crushed
Their bodies were different, as were also the color of their eyes, the length of their noses, and the circumstances of their existence, but something inside them meant the same thing, wanted the same release, would have left the same impression on the memory of an onlooker.
Hound never ran on a more beautiful scent," responded the scout, dashing forward, at once, on the indicated route; "we are favored, greatly favored, and can follow with high noses.
He had the strangest companions imaginable; men with long beards, and dressed in linen blouses, and other such new-fangled and ill-fitting garments; reformers, temperance lecturers, and all manner of cross-looking philanthropists; community-men, and come-outers, as Hepzibah believed, who acknowledged no law, and ate no solid food, but lived on the scent of other people's cookery, and turned up their noses at the fare.
Sagaciously under their spectacles, did they peep into the holds of vessels Mighty was their fuss about little matters, and marvellous, sometimes, the obtuseness that allowed greater ones to slip between their fingers Whenever such a mischance occurred -- when a waggon-load of valuable merchandise had been smuggled ashore, at noonday, perhaps, and directly beneath their unsuspicious noses -- nothing could exceed the vigilance and alacrity with which they proceeded to lock, and double-lock, and secure with tape and sealing -- wax, all the avenues of the delinquent vessel.
Yes, we became very wakeful; so much so that our recumbent position began to grow wearisome, and by little and little we found ourselves sitting up; the clothes well tucked around us, leaning against the head-board with our four knees drawn up close together, and our two noses bending over them, as if our knee-pans were warming-pans.
The old horse snorted and looked eagerly after them, and we young colts wanted to be galloping with them, but they were soon away into the fields lower down; here it seemed as if they had come to a stand; the dogs left off barking, and ran about every way with their noses to the ground.
Now, however, he was too ill to notice it--how the people in the car began to gasp and sputter, to put their handkerchiefs to their noses, and transfix him with furious glances.
The two little boys, after a desperate rummaging in their pockets, in search of those pocket-handkerchiefs which mothers know are never to be found there, had thrown themselves disconsolately into the skirts of their mother's gown, where they were sobbing, and wiping their eyes and noses, to their hearts' content;--Mrs.
When they were within fifteen yards, I sent that bomb with a sure aim, and it struck the ground just under the horses' noses.
Everybody turned up their noses at him, and some openly jeered him.
There warn't no other sound but the scraping of the feet on the floor and blowing noses -- because people always blows them more at a funeral than they do at other places except church.