sniff

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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 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

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
This close link led Sobel and his scientific team to theorize that the ability to sniff - that is, to control soft palate movement - might be preserved even in the most acute cases of paralysis.
Accordingly, the only remaining question for the Court was whether the dog sniff itself was a separate search requiring additional justification to be valid under the Fourth Amendment.
Beagle Brigade dogs are trained to sniff out dozens of fruit, meat and other food odors.
That's because people use their noses to sniff imaginary as well as real aromas, and the mere act of sniffing scentless air kick-starts odor perception, a new study finds.
As Hammock built her olfactometer, Lytwyn puzzled over how to teach an otter to sniff on command.
If the motorist denied permission, a narcotics detection dog would be summoned to sniff the exterior of the vehicle.
As the use of dogs by law enforcement has increased, so too has the amount of case law addressing the Fourth Amendment implications of dog sniffs.
Pyra is trained to sniff for hydrocarbons, an ingredient of flammable liquids that arsonists often use to accelerate fires.
In such a short time, not much odor has developed, so it's a real challenge for the female black Labradors, Gracie and Cutter, to sniff out the drug.
4] However, courts still confront challenges to dog sniffs based on their reliability.
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.
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