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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 (someone or something) out

1. Literally, to locate someone's or something's location using one's sense of smell. (Almost exclusively said of dogs.) We've sent a pack of dogs to sniff the fugitive out. The police use specially trained dogs to sniff out drugs and bombs.
2. By extension, to uncover, reveal, or expose someone or something. If the company is up to anything fishy, the auditor will sniff it out. Our lead investigative journalist sniffed out the politician leaking information to foreign intelligence agents.
See also: out, sniff

have a (good) sniff around

To investigate or examine a place or area for more information. Please tell me that the cops won't find any incriminating evidence if they have a sniff around your office.
See also: around, have, sniff

not get a sniff of (something)

To not get even the smallest portion or sample of something desirable. Health insurance, a company phone, and a pension plan? Man, I didn't get a sniff of benefits like that when I was working for that company. He didn't patent the design, so when it went on to make millions of dollars, he didn't get a sniff of it.
See also: get, not, of, sniff

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

not to be sneezed at

Also, nothing to sneeze at. Not to be ignored or dismissed, as in It's a great honor, not to be sneezed at, or That salary of his is nothing to sneeze at. This expression presumably alludes to turning up one's nose in disdain. [c. 1800]
See also: not, 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

not to be sneezed at


not to be sniffed at

If something is not to be sneezed at or not to be sniffed at, it is worth having. The money's not to be sneezed at. At least she had somewhere to live and a job — both temporary, but not to be sniffed at.
See also: not, sneeze

not to be sneezed at

not to be rejected without careful consideration; worth having or taking into account. informal
See also: not, sneeze

not to be ˈsneezed/ˈsniffed at

(informal) important or worth having: If I were you, I’d take the job. A salary like that’s not to be sneezed at.
See also: not, sneeze, sniff

have a (good) ˌsniff aˈround

examine a place carefully: Come and visit our website and have a sniff around!
This refers to the way that a dog sniffs (= smells) something in order to find out more about it.
See also: around, have, sniff

not get a ˈsniff of something

(informal) not succeed in obtaining something: I worked in Hollywood for years, but I never got a sniff of the big money.
See also: get, not, of, sniff, something

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 ?
As we can see, in traditional network, complete communication data from source host to destination host can be sniffed on some nodes (e.
I sniffed it without wanting to tuck in," she recalled.
5) While hydrogen sulfide is toxic when inhaled in large doses, it can actually protect cells and fight illnesses when sniffed in tiny amounts.
Antelope Valley Union High School District first used drug-sniffing dogs in 1995, when security canines sniffed lockers, classrooms and book bags for drugs at Quartz Hill and Highland high schools but found none.
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.
A young Scots doctor sniffed drugs from the hospital where he worked minutes before he died.
And last year, with the help of dermatologist Dr Armand Cognetta, the dog sniffed at seven test patients and correctly identified cancer in six.
Overall, the squirrels sniffed longest at cubes perfumed by unrelated strangers.
But with the car impounded back at the station, the department's 4-year- old K-9, Fergie, sniffed out $27,000 in cash stashed behind side panels in the car's back seat.
He said: "He kept a can up his sleeve and sniffed it through the day.