whiff

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*whiff of something

 
1. . Lit. the smell or odor of something. (*Typically: get ~; catch ~; have ~; take ~; give someone ~.) Did you get a whiff of the turkey roasting? Yummy. I caught a whiff of something rather unpleasant in the attic. I think there is a dead mouse up there.
2. . Fig. a bit of knowledge of something. (*Typically: get ~; catch ~; give someone ~.) The boss got a whiff of the problems in the accounting department. No one will get a whiff of your trouble with the police. I'll see to that.
See also: of, whiff

whiff-sniffer

and wiff-sniffer
n. a prohibitionist; someone always alert for the smell of alcohol on someone’s breath. (Prohibition.) No wiff-sniffer is going to tell me what to do.
References in classic literature ?
No sooner said than the intensely red speck of fire was glowing within the pipe-bowl; and the scarecrow, without waiting for the witch's bidding, applied the tube to his lips and drew in a few short, convulsive whiffs, which soon, however, became regular and equable.
Forthwith, however, as soon as the order was given, there was an intense red glow out of the bowl of the pipe, and a whiff of smoke came from Mother Rigby's lips.
I don't want to set up a hobgoblin in my own corn-patch, and almost at my own doorstep," said Mother Rigby to herself, puffing out a whiff of smoke; "I could do it if I pleased, but I'm tired of doing marvellous things, and so I'll keep within the bounds of every-day business just for variety's sake.
She drew in a long whiff and puffed it forth again into the bar of morning sunshine which struggled through the one dusty pane of her cottage window.
Come, another good stout whiff, and let it be with might and main.
But its efforts, it must be acknowledged, served an excellent purpose; for, with each successive whiff, the figure lost more and more of its dizzy and perplexing tenuity and seemed to take denser substance.
The scarecrow gasped, struggled, and at length emitted a murmur, which was so incorporated with its smoky breath that you could scarcely tell whether it were indeed a voice or only a whiff of tobacco.
said the figure, in a stout voice, and sending forth a courageous whiff of smoke, "I will thrive, if an honest man and a gentleman may
I don't like these boughten scents-- but a whiff of sweet-grass belongs anywhere a lady does.
But no crying, or talking, or hoping, or fearing, could keep off the dreaded Saturday afternoon, or Newman Noggs either; who, punctual to his time, limped up to the door, and breathed a whiff of cordial gin through the keyhole, exactly as such of the church clocks in the neighbourhood as agreed among themselves about the time, struck five.
The epigram, with its faint whiff of the eighties, meant nothing.
A whiff of warm breath, a little soft tuft on its paw--: and immediately wert thou ready to love and lure it.
A whiff of--you know what, and a turn at a certain book which I have had occasion to mention in these pages, composed me, body and mind.
The man glanced at the parish-clerk, whose air of consciousness and importance plainly betokened him to be the person referred to, and, observing that he had taken his pipe from his lips, after a very long whiff to keep it alight, and was evidently about to tell his story without further solicitation, gathered his large coat about him, and shrinking further back was almost lost in the gloom of the spacious chimney-corner, except when the flame, struggling from under a great faggot, whose weight almost crushed it for the time, shot upward with a strong and sudden glare, and illumining his figure for a moment, seemed afterwards to cast it into deeper obscurity than before.
Mr Daisy stopped to take a whiff at his pipe, which was going out, and then proceeded--at first in a snuffling tone, occasioned by keen enjoyment of the tobacco and strong pulling at the pipe, and afterwards with increasing distinctness: