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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.
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. (Law) a device for detecting hidden substances such as drugs or explosives, esp by their odour
2. (Telecommunications) a computer program or device used to monitor, detect, and capture data on a network
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sniffer - a person who sniffs
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
A senior trainer tells The Express Tribune that the Special Branch is the first department to establish a school for sniffer dogs in 2010 after the Pakistan Army.
EXPERT LET'S BRING IN THE CLASS A DOGS One of Scotland's most experienced sniffer dog handlers has backed the specially trained animals to tackle drug use at football grounds.
"I agreed, but I was arrested when a sniffer dog found the hashish hidden in the boot."
Alix Young and her boyfriend Michael Bye from Liverpool watched as bomb squads and sniffer dogs started searching the plane.
The spokesperson on Saturday said that the 62 sniffer dogs of this unit were
Moreover, the sniffer dogs caught 18 kg of explosives, 248 IEDs, 38.64 kg of narcotics and 118 bottles of liquor.
Customs and Border Control operations recently received a major boost following recruitment of eight additional sniffer dog handlers and the acquisition of five more canines.The five sniffer dogs will cover the baggage halls and cargo sheds at the airports, port of Mombasa and the Embakasi Inland Container Deport more effectively.
The aggressive dogs are chosen for guard training, while the calm ones who enjoy the company of people become potential sniffer dogs.
Police authorities of Sharjah and Dubai, in coordination with the Air Wing of the ministry of the interior, have involved sniffer dogs of the K9 department to search for the missing Indian student who was swept away by floods in Sharjah's Wadi Sheis on Thursday.
It is believed to be the first time a visitor at a British jail has been attacked by a sniffer dog.