Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
1. To move forward very slowly and cautiously out of some place. In this usage, the preposition "of" is used after "out" when the place is specified; a noun or pronoun can be used between "nose" and "out" if the verb is used transitively. I think you'll have enough room to get out of the parking spot—just nose the car out a little bit at a time to be sure. I nosed out of the house to get away from the party without anyone noticing. She nosed the motorcycle quietly out of the shed so as not to wake her parents.
2. To defeat someone by a narrow margin, thus knocking them out of the competition or contest. A noun or pronoun can be used between "nose" and "out." The underdogs managed to nose out the former champions in a thrilling last-minute victory. After a late surge in the polls, Mayor Smith nosed out the Michigan senator many assumed would be the party's nominee.
3. To locate something through the use of one's nose. A noun or pronoun can be used between "nose" and "out." The dog was able to nose out the stash of drugs. The suspect may be in hiding, but these bloodhounds will nose him out.
4. To discover something that had been hidden through careful and thorough investigation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "nose" and "out." If anyone will be able to nose out the truth, she will. Scientists believe they have nosed out the genes responsible for giving one's face its particular shape.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
nose something (out) (onto something)
to drive or push something carefully out onto the surface of something, nose first. I nosed the car out onto the highway, looking both ways. She nosed out the car.
nose someone or a group out
to defeat someone or something by a narrow margin. (Alludes to a horse winning a race "by a nose.") Karen nosed Bobby out in the election for class president by one vote. Our team nosed out the opposing team in last Friday's game.
nose out (of something)
to move cautiously out of something or some place, nose first. She nosed out of the little room, hoping she hadn't been observed. She nosed out quickly and stealthily.
nose something out of somethingand nose something out
1. Lit. [for an animal] to force something out of something gently and cautiously. (As if pushing with the nose.) The cat nosed her kitten out of the corner. The cat nosed out her kittens where we could see them. She nosed them out.
2. Fig. to move something cautiously out of something or some place, nose first. Todd nosed the car out of the parking place carefully. He nosed out the car with skill. Ted nosed it out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Defeat by a narrow margin, as in She barely nosed out the incumbent. This expression, alluding to a horse's winning with its nose in front, has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s.
2. Discover, especially something hidden or secret, as in This reporter has a knack for nosing out the truth. This usage alludes to following the scent of something. [Early 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To defeat someone or something by a narrow margin: We nosed out the opposing team for the win. In the last inning, we took the lead and nosed them out.
2. To perceive or detect someone or something by or as if by sniffing: The police dogs nosed out the drugs hidden in the car. The criminals left very few clues, but the police were still able to nose them out.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See nose candy
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.