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Related to sniff: Sniff Test

nothing to sniff at

Not something that should be ignored, dismissed, or treated with disdain; something that is not inconsequential. The amount of votes she managed to muster is nothing to sniff at. Sure, a hundred bucks isn't a huge amount to have won, but it's definitely nothing to sniff at!
See also: nothing, sniff

nothing to be sniffed at

Not something that should be ignored, dismissed, or treated with disdain; something that is not inconsequential. The amount of votes she managed to muster is nothing to be sniffed at. Sure, a hundred bucks isn't a huge amount to have won, but it's definitely nothing to be sniffed at!
See also: nothing, sniff

sniff test

1. The act of questioning the viability of an idea or course of action. Josh thinks he has a solid plan, but it doesn't pass the sniff test for me—I don't see how it will be profitable.
2. In medicine, a test of the phrenic nerve in which the patient must sniff forcefully. Next, we're going to do a sniff test so that I can see exactly how your phrenic nerve is functioning.
3. In medicine, a way to recognize bacterial vaginosis (which presents with a fishlike odor). I've only done a sniff test so far, but I think that patient has bacterial vaginosis.
4. The act of smelling something to determine whether or not it has a fresh odor. These leftovers pass the sniff test, so I'll heat them up for lunch. You can't wear that shirt again without washing it—it definitely doesn't pass the sniff test!
See also: sniff, test

sniff at someone or something

1. Lit. to try to get the smell of someone or something by smelling. The dog sniffed at the visitor. The cat sniffed at almost every inch of the rug that the dog had walked on.
2. Fig. to show one's disapproval of someone or something by sniffing. (Sometimes this is figurative, the "sniffing" being expressed by tone of voice or gesture.) I made one suggestion, but Claire just sniffed at me. Gale just sniffed at the idea and would say nothing.
See also: sniff

sniff someone or something out

to locate someone or something by sniffing or as if by sniffing. The dog sniffed the intruder out and the police captured him. The dog sniffed out the mole in the lawn.
See also: out, sniff

sniff out somebody/something

also sniff somebody/something out
to discover someone or something, usually only after a special effort Part of their job is to sniff out talented new writers. The FBI knew they had a double agent in their midst, but it took years to sniff him out. Related vocabulary: nose around
See also: out, sniff

not to be sneezed/sniffed at

1. if something, especially an amount of money, is not to be sneezed at, it is large enough to be worth having And there's the increase in salary to be considered. £3000 extra a year is not to be sneezed at.
2. if something or someone is not to be sneezed at, they are important or dangerous enough to deserve serious attention Goodman is not a man to be sniffed at. (American & Australian informal)
See also: sneeze

sniff out

Uncover, as If there's anything to that rumor, Gladys will sniff it out. This expression alludes to an animal sniffing for prey. [First half of 1900s]
See also: out, sniff

sniff around

To pry; snoop: The reporters came sniffing around for more details. The detectives sniffed around the basement for clues. The guard caught them sniffing around in the room where the files are kept.
See also: around, sniff

sniff at

1. To use the sense of smell to investigate something: I sniffed at the jar to see what it held.
2. To regard someone or something in a contemptuous or dismissive manner: The critics sniffed at the film, even though it was very popular. The amount of funds we've managed to raise in a week is nothing to sniff at.
See also: sniff

sniff out

To perceive or detect someone or something by or as if by sniffing: The dogs sniffed out the trail through the snow. The detectives sniffed the plot out and arrested the criminals.
See also: out, sniff


n. a drink of liquor. (see also snort.) I’d like just a sniff of that Scotch.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is the first time that Sniff has been shown in the UK outside of London, and the first time Karolina's work has been exhibited in the North East.
In these respects," O'Connor wrote, "the canine sniff is sui generis.
City of Lago Vista (which went too far, in my view) has even allowed a custodial arrest for a minor traffic violation, (18) so a dog sniff that doesn't intrude into the car or prolong the stop does not seem too troublesome.
As Hammock built her olfactometer, Lytwyn puzzled over how to teach an otter to sniff on command.
While not as sensitive as a canine or even human nose, "e-nose" devices are consistent, objective, and immune to any harmful chemicals they may sniff.
People who let their friends sniff gas ought to know that is what happens and people who sell gas to youngsters need to realise that is what can happen.
If the motorist denied permission, a narcotics detection dog would be summoned to sniff the exterior of the vehicle.
In Place, agents seized Place's bag and, 90 minutes later, submitted it to a dog sniff.
She said most of her friends sniff, but she has one good friend who quit.
However, a major release of Sniff due late this, or early next year will move TakeFive into the highest echelons of source code engineering - the market where applications typically have between one and five million lines of code.
Therefore, processing of either sniff or smell signals--air rushing up the nose or odorant molecules latching onto nerve cells--could be defective in the many people who lose their ability to smell.
JUST one sniff of glue or lighter fuel can kill, and it can cause permanent brain damage, liver failure and damage to the heart.
For example Brady reveals that in Western Australia, communities in the Central Reserve area have a twenty year history of petrol sniffing, whilst the Wiluna community with whom they have ceremonial and other associations, does not have members who sniff.
Headquartered in Boston, Sniff K9's works with both retail and hospitality clients.
Villagers said the body was detected by chance after a dog began to violently sniff around the spot, which later turned out to be a grave.