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a. A brief, passing odor carried in the air: a whiff of perfume.
b. A very small trace: a whiff of self-pity in her remarks.
2. An inhalation, as of air or smoke: Take a whiff of this pipe.
3. A slight, gentle gust of air; a waft: A whiff of cool air blew into the room.
4. Baseball A strikeout.
v. whiffed, whiff·ing, whiffs
1. To be carried in brief gusts; waft: puffs of smoke whiffing from the chimney.
2. Sports To swing at and miss a ball or puck.
3. Baseball To strike out. Used of a batter.
1. To inhale through the nose; sniff: a dog whiffing the air.
2. Baseball To strike out (a batter).
[Perhaps alteration of Middle English weffe, offensive smell.]
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.