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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 ?
These two facts provide convenience for attackers to sniff network communication.
13) Since the Court has treated a traffic stop the same as it does a Terry stop (of a person on the street), (14) a traffic stop must meet the Terry criteria: The stop must be justified at its inception, as this stop clearly was, and any investigation must be "reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place," (15) as the dog sniff clearly wasn't.
Sometimes they sniff the bag and finish before people even know they're there,'' she said.
In these tests, each volunteer reported imagining smells more vividly after having been encouraged to sniff air than while wearing a nose clip that prevented sniffing.
The otter's first encounter with the sniff board was to dismantle it.
Unbeknownst to most of the motoring public, the duration of both criminal and noncriminal traffic stops is of tremendous constitutional importance, for a matter of minutes may decide the legality of a K-9 sniff.
Despite the fact that Place and Jacobsen can be read in the manner stated by this judge, until the Supreme Court clarifies the law regarding dog sniffs of persons, items, or locations other than luggage located in a public place, or with the exterior of vehicles as mentioned in the Edmond decision, the circumstances under which an officer uses a dog to sniff for contraband will continue to impact whether the dog sniff will be considered a search.
One thing we don't allow," Craddock says, "is for the dogs to sniff people (for drugs).
One court has considered the legal implications in regard to dog sniffs of premises.
Gabrieli of Stanford proposes that nostril shifts boost nose power by allowing two simultaneous sniffs that have their sensitivities tuned to different kinds of chemicals.
These clever canines sniff out the suspect in an average of 40 percent of the 900 cases they work each year.
There's only one big dog, and everybody else sniffs from behind.
To confirm that she has located her young, a mother often sniffs and exchanges calls with a pup for a minute or more before either rejecting it or nudging it toward one of her teats, Gustin and McCracken report.
3) LAFD arson investigator Frank Oglesby follows his partner, Buster, as the ATF-trained 18-month-old Labrador retriever sniffs out combustibles.
Computer Scents A computer sniffs out how rats learn to distinguish odors