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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Passepartout, though he had not been able to study or rehearse a part, was designated to lend the aid of his sturdy shoulders in the great exhibition of the "human pyramid," executed by the Long Noses of the god Tingou.
What was the matter with our noses? Why were they to be pushed out!
'You see, my friend, here are two of us, with as good noses as yours, who smell nothing.
Anthony's Nose = this incident probably occurred at a place on the Mohawk River called today The Noses, between Fonda and Palatine Bridge; there is another St.
He has no proper nose. And since the nose is the central and most conspicuous of the features; and since it perhaps most modifies and finally controls their combined expression; hence it would seem that its entire absence, as an external appendage, must very largely affect the countenance of the whale.
A PERSON with a Wart on His Nose met a Person Similarly Afflicted, and said:
'For shame, young man!' said the gentleman with the red nose.
Ye'll know him when ye see him by his crooked nose."
"If you've got ten minutes, I wish you'd follow that man with the false nose."
Steward was a god who was kind, who loved him with voice and lip, who loved him with touch of hand, rub of nose, or enfolding arm.
After the eyes, Geppetto made the nose, which began to stretch as soon as finished.
He knew he was not in the room, though he stood up on his hind-legs and investigated the low bunk, his keen little nose quivering delightedly while he made little sniffs of delight as he smelled the recent presence of Skipper.