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v. sniffed, sniff·ing, sniffs
a. To inhale a short, audible breath through the nose, as in smelling something.
b. To sniffle.
2. To use the sense of smell, as in savoring or investigating: sniffed at the jar to see what it held.
3. To regard something in a contemptuous or dismissive manner: The critics sniffed at the adaptation of the novel to film.
4. Informal To pry; snoop: The reporters came sniffing around for more details.
1. To inhale forcibly through the nose: sniffed the cool morning air.
2. To smell, as in savoring or investigating: sniffed the lilacs; sniffed the breeze for traces of smoke.
3. To perceive or detect by or as if by sniffing: dogs that sniffed out the trail through the snow; sniffed trouble ahead.
4. To utter in a contemptuous or haughty manner: The countess sniffed her disapproval.
1. An instance or the sound of sniffing.
2. Something sniffed or perceived by or as if by sniffing; a whiff: a sniff of perfume; a sniff of scandal.

[Middle English sniffen, probably of Scandinavian origin.]

sniff′a·ble adj.
sniff′er n.
References in classic literature ?
Well, there is a wild beast smell all around here," admitted Tom, sniffing the air.
And on the trunk of the tree he leaned against, a brown squirrel was clinging and watching him, and from behind a bush nearby a cock pheasant was delicately stretching his neck to peep out, and quite near him were two rabbits sitting up and sniffing with tremulous noses--and actually it appeared as if they were all drawing near to watch him and listen to the strange low little call his pipe seemed to make.
The 'young gal' was re-engaged; but on the stipulation that she should only bring in the dishes, and then withdraw to the landing-place, beyond the outer door; where a habit of sniffing she had contracted would be lost upon the guests, and where her retiring on the plates would be a physical impossibility.
I observed the doctor sniffing and sniffing, like someone tasting a bad egg.
The boy slid to the ground as he spoke, but the ape first looked carefully about, sniffing the morning air.
They were not barking, but sniffing and growling in a curious fashion.
The pug was sniffing at the fashionable world, as it passed him, with his little black muzzle, and was kept from extending his investigation by a large blue ribbon attached to his collar with an enormous rosette and held in the hand of a person seated next to Newman.
Then falls one finger on the table and He makes a small sniffing noise through his nose.
He was looking at the gorge on either side and sniffing uneasily, for there was a sweetish-sourish smell in the air, very like the smell of a big ant-hill on a hot day.
A cunning preparation of it," said Holmes, sniffing at the dead animal.
Tis a ranter pa'son who's been sniffing after her lately; not a dandy like this.
Picking our way carefully we threaded a winding path across the chamber, the great banths sniffing hungrily at the tempting prey spread before them in such tantalizing and defenceless profusion.