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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 ?
5) While hydrogen sulfide is toxic when inhaled in large doses, it can actually protect cells and fight illnesses when sniffed in tiny amounts.
When a mole would enter a chamber, it moved its nose back and forth as it sniffed, but then the mole seemed to zero in on the food source, moving in a direct path.
Finally, 16 men who sniffed women's tears while watching a sad movie in a brain-scan machine displayed markedly lower blood-flow rates--a sign of reduced brain-cell activity--in areas that had previously reacted strongly to an erotic, R-rated movie.
Since 2000, Buster has sniffed out more than pounds 150,000 worth of drugs, including a total haul of 33 ounces of heroin.
Then I realised there were other foods that left me feeling full up if I just sniffed them.
When they returned, Vanessa had sniffed the gas before running upstairs in the belief her mother was coming to the house.
947 (1995) (Plaintiffs in civil suit contended their constitutional rights were violated when a dog sniffed their vehicle and person at a roadblock near a prison entrance.
The cyclist sniffed the gas he used to weld together his famous bike made from washing machine parts.
Students left their belongings in the room and went outside while the dogs sniffed their book bags and backpacks, officials said.
IT'S not be sniffed at - odours smell differently depending on which nostril they are detected by, according to new research.
The agents detained Place's luggage and took it to Kennedy Airport, where a trained drug detection dog sniffed the luggage and "alerted" (indicated the detection of the odor of drugs).
After a male sniffed the unrelated fry, his ferocity declined.
Penny sniffed where the coffee table had been, then walked off to lie outside in the sunshine.
It sniffed backpacks and book bags in six classrooms and a wood shop, and students' lockers in the gymnasium and two hallways, but no drugs were found.
One of the dogs exhibited an interest in a carry-on bag the owner had consented to be sniffed.