follow nose

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

follow (one's) nose

1. To walk straight ahead (thus walking in the direction that one's nose is facing). A: "Should I turn here?" B: "No, follow your nose and keep walking in a straight line—you'll be at my house soon enough."
2. To follow a scent, in an attempt to find its source. I thought I smelled something baking, so I followed my nose down to the kitchen and found my mom icing a cake!
3. To trust one's instinct when making a judgment or decision or taking action. I tend to follow my nose when I have a bad feeling about someone, and it's helped me to avoid a lot of drama.
See also: follow, nose

follow one's nose

1. Lit. to go straight ahead, the direction that one's nose is pointing. The town that you want is straight ahead on this highway. Just follow your nose. The chief's office is right around the corner. Turn left and follow your nose.
2. Fig. to follow an odor to its source. The kitchen is at the back of the building. Just follow your nose. There was a bad smell in the basement—probably a dead mouse. I followed my nose until I found it.
See also: follow, nose

follow (one's) nose

1. To move straight ahead or in a direct path.
2. Informal To be guided by instinct: had no formal training but became a success by following his nose.
See also: follow, nose

follow one's nose, to

To go straight ahead. This expression dates from the fifteenth century or even earlier. “Right forth on thy nose. Recta via encode,” wrote John Stanbridge in a collection of common expressions dated 1510. In the nineteenth century the retort “Follow your nose,” in answer to someone asking directions, was a rather less polite way of saying the same thing.
See also: follow