sniff

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have a (good) sniff around

To investigate or examine a place or area to look for something or gather information. Please tell me that the cops won't find any incriminating evidence if they have a sniff around your office. I had a good sniff around outside, but I didn't see your watch anywhere.
See also: around, have, sniff

not get a sniff of (something)

1. To not get even the smallest inclination or amount of information about something. Make sure you don't let the boss get a sniff of what you're trying to do, or you'll get fired so fast your head will spin! A: "Detective Matheson, have you gotten any leads about this supposed drug deal going down tomorrow night?" B: "No, sir, I haven't gotten a sniff of anything happening tomorrow."
2. 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 those 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 that money.
See also: get, not, of, sniff

not to be sneezed at

To not be something that should be ignored, passed over, dismissed, or treated with disdain; to not be trivial or inconsequential. We may not have won the game, but we scored enough points and caused enough damage to let everyone know we aren't to be sneezed at. Sure, a hundred bucks isn't a huge amount to win in a lottery, but it's still not to be sneezed at!
See also: not, sneeze

not to be sniffed at

To not be something that should be ignored, passed over, dismissed, or treated with disdain; to not be trivial or inconsequential. We may not have won the game, but we scored enough points and caused enough damage to let everyone know we aren't to be sniffed at. Sure, a hundred bucks isn't a huge amount to win in a lottery, but it's still not to be sniffed at!
See also: not, 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

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

sniff about (something or some place)

To investigate, search through, or inquire impertinently into something or some place. Please tell me that the cops won't find any incriminating evidence if they start sniffing about your office. Sarah's been sniffing about, lately—I think she's starting to suspect me.
See also: sniff

sniff around

To investigate, search through, or inquire impertinently into something or some place. Please tell me that the cops won't find any incriminating evidence if they start sniffing around your office. Sarah's been sniffing around, lately—I think she's starting to suspect me. I started sniffing around the senator's campaign records and discovered a vast conspiracy of fraud and embezzlement.
See also: around, sniff

sniff at (someone or something).

To dismiss or belittle someone or something as being not worthwhile, important, or valuable. Sure, a hundred bucks isn't a huge amount to win, but it's definitely nothing to sniff at! The CEO just sniffed at the deal presented by the rival corporation.
See also: sniff

sniff out

1. Literally, to locate someone or something using one's sense of smell. Almost exclusively said of dogs. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sniff" and "out." 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 through some form of investigation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sniff" and "out." 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

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 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

or

not to be sniffed at

INFORMAL
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

v.
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

v.
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

v.
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

sniff

n. a drink of liquor. (see also snort.) I’d like just a sniff of that Scotch.

not to be sneezed at

Not to be dismissed. This term, which presumably comes from turning up one’s nose at something to express contempt, was already current in the early nineteenth century. “As I am situated, £300 or £400 a year is not to be sneezed at” (Sir Walter Scott, letter, 1813).
See also: not, sneeze
References in periodicals archive ?
In this way, overhead and difficulty of sniffing are increased since continuous communication data is difficult to obtain.
He crossed these tubes such that the right nostril was sniffing air on the animal's left and the left nostril was sniffing air on the animal's right.
The results suggest that DEET corrupts the odor signal, perhaps by contorting parts of the sniffing machinery so that wafting molecules other than DEET are misinterpreted.
Solvent abuse charities last night warned it could be just as dangerous as sniffing glue or petrol.
Petrol sniffing is an illicit behavior which is purposely practiced out of sight of the general community.
Even if the network is secured, obtaining the network key requires only a few hours of monitoring network traffic using software that's widely available on the Internet, in a process known as "sniffing."
THE parents of a North Wales teenager who died after sniffing aerosols, last night backed a campaign to combat solvent abuse.
Place, it had stated (in dictum) that a dog sniffing luggage at an airport "did not constitute a search" because the sniff was sui generis; it disclosed "only the presence or absence of narcotics," with no need to open the bag or check its contents.
A man has been banned from every Asda store in the country for cutting fuel pump pipes and sniffing petrol at its filling stations.
When you're sniffing around the perfume counter for a new-you fragrance, don't be an early bird.
MORE than a quarter of a million kids aged 11 to 15 are risking their lives by sniffing glue.
SAN communications are moving to IP-based networks, making them vulnerable to many of the attacks made on corporate networks, such as spoofing, sniffing, denial of service attacks, untrusted networks, and basic physical security (including keypads, armed guards and the like).
Giant Gambian pouched rats, now banned from the United States as monkeypox vectors, are doing rehabilitation work sniffing out land mines in Mozambique, and next s summer, will be nosing out tuberculosis in Tanzania.
Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can cause heart attacks and even death within minutes.