sniff(redirected from sniffs)
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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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
not to be sneezed ator
not to be sniffed atINFORMAL
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.
not to be sneezed atnot to be rejected without careful consideration; worth having or taking into account. informal
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.
have a (good) ˌsniff aˈroundexamine 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
n. a drink of liquor. (see also snort.) I’d like just a sniff of that Scotch.