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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 ?
hostile to all such truthfulness-statues, In every desert homelier than at temples, With cattish wantonness, Through every window leaping Quickly into chances, Every wild forest a-sniffing, Greedily-longingly, sniffing, That thou, in wild forests,
"Eh!" he said, and as he crumbled the rich black soil she saw he was sniffing up the scent of it.
So all that morning Jip stood in the front part of the ship, sniffing the wind and pointing the way for the Doctor to steer; while all the animals and the little boy stood round with their eyes wide open, watching the dog in wonder.
I observed the doctor sniffing and sniffing, like someone tasting a bad egg.
The wolf started on toward the place from where the call surely came, then returned to him, sniffing noses and making actions as though to encourage him.
This over, he came out of his angle and the pack crowded around him, sniffing in half- friendly, half-savage manner.
While he waited among the branches and foliage of a near-by tree he searched the village constantly with his keen eyes, and twice he circled it, sniffing the vagrant breezes which puffed erratically from first one point of the compass and then another.
Sniffing at his dead feet whined a mangy native cur.
At either side of the leper stood his sole and constant companions, the two hyenas, sniffing the air.
The hyenas halted a few yards from the prostrate Tarzan, sniffing and growling.
And then they both began sniffing, and, at the third sniff, they caught it right on the chest, and rose up without another word and went out.