nosing(redirected from nosings)
Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. verb To try to curry favor with someone through flattery or favors in the hopes of getting something in return. I'm not doing well at all in math this year, so it seems like brownnosing the teacher is my only hope for a good grade! Don't brownnose me with chocolates and sweet talk—just tell me what you want!
2. noun One who seeks out the approval, attention, and/or support of others, especially superiors, through abject subservience, flattery, or fawning. Tim is such an obvious brownnose, always complementing the boss on her ideas and saying yes to anything she suggests.
To make observations or look through things, often subtly or stealthily, in an attempt to discover something. The phrase sometimes but not always implies that someone is prying into something that is not their business. Quit nosing about in my room! Mom, he's looking through my drawers again! I nosed about in the old file cabinets, but I wasn't able to find any of the documents we're looking for.
To make observations or look through things, often subtly or stealthily, in an attempt to discover something. The phrase sometimes but not always implies that someone is prying into something that is not their business. Quit nosing around in my room! Mom, he's looking through my drawers again! I nosed around in the old file cabinets, but I wasn't able to find any of the documents we're looking for.
nose around for (someone or something)
To make observations or look through things, often subtly or stealthily, in an attempt to discover someone or something. The phrase often implies that someone is prying into something that is not their business. I nosed around for those documents in the old file cabinets, but I wasn't able to find any of the things we're looking for. I know that detective is out there nosing around for us. But I feel confident that we covered our tracks pretty well.
1. To move forward very slowly and cautiously. If used transitively, a noun or pronoun can be used between "nose" and "in." I think you'll have enough room to get into the parking spot—just nose the car in a little bit at a time to be sure. He stood watching the fishing boats nose in as they came back to shore from their expeditions.
2. To pry or snoop around; to try to find information about something, especially private, secret, or sensitive matters. Make sure no word of this gets out. The last thing we need is the feds nosing in our affairs. My mom always tries to nose in whenever she suspects I'm dating someone new.
nose in on (someone or something)
To intrude into or interfere with someone else's affairs when such behavior is unwanted or unsolicited. My mom is always nosing in on my love life. Make sure no word of this gets out. The last thing we need is to have the police nosing in on us.
nose into (something)
To investigate something; to try to find information about something, especially private, secret, or sensitive matters. The last thing we need right now are tax auditors nosing into our accounts. You really need to stop nosing into other people's affairs, or you're going to start losing friends.
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. 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 discover something that had been hidden through careful and thorough investigation. 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.
nose about (for someone or something)and nose around (for someone or something)
to search here and there to find someone or something. We spent an hour nosing about for a newspaper. I will nose around for someone to help you. We nosed about for a while, but found no one.
nose around (something)
to pry into something; to snoop around something. I caught her nosing around my desk. Wally is always nosing around.
nose in (to something)
[for a boat or other vehicle] to move or be moved into something or some place carefully, nose first. The captain nosed into the channel, and our journey had begun. He nosed in and we sailed on.
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.
Also, nose around. Look for something, especially something private or hidden. For example, She was always nosing about the kitchen, looking in all the cupboards, or The detective nosed around the apartment. [Second half of 1800s]
Also, nose into.
1. Advance cautiously, front end first, as in We nosed the boat into her berth, or The car nosed in very slowly. [Mid-1900s]
2. Pry, snoop, as in He was nosing into our finances again. [First half of 1900s] Also see nose about; poke one's nose into.
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]
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.