whiff


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Related to whiff: whiff test, WIFF

a whiff of (something)

1. Literally, a faint odor or scent. Yuck, I just caught a whiff of dog poop. Did you step in some on the way home? I think I'm getting a whiff of garlic from the broth—is that correct? The breeze gave me a whiff of the flowers from my neighbor's garden.
2. A brief instance of smelling something. I had a whiff of the soup he was making to see if it was as spicy as last time. I think I'm getting a whiff of garlic from the broth—is that correct? I got a whiff of his cologne, and, whew, is it ever strong!
3. An extremely small portion or sample of something desirable. Health insurance, a company phone, and a pension plan? Man, I didn't get a whiff of benefits like those when I was working for the company. He didn't patent the design, so when it went on to make millions of dollars, he didn't get a whiff of that money. I left that job because I didn't get a whiff of a raise in five years.
4. A very small amount of information, especially just enough to give someone an indication or inkling of something. Make sure you don't let the boss get a whiff of what you're trying to do, or you'll get fired so fast your head will spin! Detective Matheson says he's caught a whiff of something going down at the docks tomorrow night. Sounds like it could be a major drug deal. If you keep acting weird like that, Mom will get a whiff of our plans to sneak out and go to the party.
See also: of, whiff

catch a whiff of (something)

1. Literally, to detect a faint odor or scent. Yuck, I just caught a whiff of dog poop. Did you step in some on the way home? I think I'm catching a whiff of garlic from the broth—is that correct?
2. To receive an extremely small portion or sample of something desirable. Health insurance, a company phone, and a pension plan? Man, I didn't catch a whiff of benefits like those when I was working for the company. He didn't patent the design, so he won't catch a whiff of the money they're making on it.
3. To receive a very small amount of information, especially just enough to give someone an indication or inkling of something. Make sure you don't let the boss catch a whiff of what you're trying to do, or you'll get fired so fast your head will spin! Detective Matheson says he's caught a whiff of something going down at the docks tomorrow night. Sounds like it could be a major drug deal.
See also: catch, of, whiff

get a whiff of (something)

1. Literally, to detect a faint odor or scent. Yuck, I just got a whiff of dog poop. Did anyone step in any on the way home? I think I'm getting a whiff of garlic from the broth—is that correct?
2. To smell something briefly. I want to get a whiff of that soup he's making to see if it's as spicy as last time.
3. To receive an extremely small portion or sample of something desirable. Health insurance, a company phone, and a pension plan? Man, I didn't get a whiff of benefits like those when I was working for the company. He didn't patent the design, so he won't get a whiff of the money they're making on it.
4. To receive a very small amount of information, especially just enough to give someone an indication or inkling of something. Make sure you don't let the boss get a whiff of what you're trying to do, or you'll get fired so fast your head will spin! Detective Matheson says he's gotten a whiff of something going down at the docks tomorrow night. Sounds like it could be a major drug deal.
See also: get, of, whiff

give (one) a whiff of (something)

1. To allow one to smell something. Here, give me a whiff of the soup you're making. I want to see if it's as spicy as last time.
2. To cause one to detect a faint odor or scent. The breeze gave me a whiff of the flowers from my neighbor's garden. She opened the kitchen window, giving me a whiff of the onions and garlic frying in the pan.
3. To provide one with an extremely small portion or sample of something desirable. Health insurance, a company phone, and a pension plan? Man, they didn't give me a whiff of benefits like those when I was working for the company. His partner stole the plans for the prototype from him, and he didn't give the poor guy a whiff of the millions he made when it became a huge success.
4. To provide one with a very small amount of information, especially just enough to give someone an indication or inkling of something. Make sure you don't give the boss a whiff of what you're planning to do, or you'll get fired so fast your head will spin! An informant gave the detective a whiff of something going down at the docks tomorrow night. Sounds like it could be a major drug deal.
See also: give, of, whiff

have a whiff of (something)

1. To smell something briefly. I had a whiff of that soup he's making to make sure it's not too spicy this time. Let me have a whiff of your new cologne. Mmm, smells nice!
2. To detect a faint odor or scent. Yuck, I just had a whiff of dog poop. Did you step in some on the way home?
3. To have even a tiny portion or sample of something desirable. Usually used in negative constructions. Health insurance, a company phone, and a pension plan? Man, I didn't have a whiff of benefits like those when I was working for the company. He didn't patent the design, so when it went on to make millions of dollars, he didn't get a whiff of that money.
4. To contain a trace of something. His acceptance speech had a whiff of sarcasm in it, don't you think? Like he was making fun of the award a tiny bit?
See also: have, of, whiff

not get a whiff 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 whiff 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 whiff 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 whiff 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 whiff of that money.
See also: get, not, of, whiff

sniffer

slang One's nose. Put your sniffer up to these roses I just brought in from the garden. Don't they smell divine? The ball hit her right in the sniffer.

take a whiff (of something)

To smell something quickly or briefly. I took a whiff of that soup he's making to make sure it's not too spicy this time. A: "I bought some new cologne today." B: "Let me take a whiff. Mmm, smells nice!"
See also: take, whiff
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*whiff of something

 
1. . Lit. the smell or odor of something. (*Typically: get ~; catch ~; have ~; take ~; give someone ~.) Did you get a whiff of the turkey roasting? Yummy. I caught a whiff of something rather unpleasant in the attic. I think there is a dead mouse up there.
2. . Fig. a bit of knowledge of something. (*Typically: get ~; catch ~; give someone ~.) The boss got a whiff of the problems in the accounting department. No one will get a whiff of your trouble with the police. I'll see to that.
See also: of, whiff
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

whiff-sniffer

and wiff-sniffer
n. a prohibitionist; someone always alert for the smell of alcohol on someone’s breath. (Prohibition.) No wiff-sniffer is going to tell me what to do.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
President Duterte has repeatedly warned government officials that he would fire them even with just a "whiff" of corruption.
'Could it be that Secretary Andanar and the PCOO people just want a whiff of winter; thus, the sudden urge to go into this information caravan?
Duterte has fired officials for frequent travels and other "whiffs" of corruption but the Palace did not pursue cases against them.
The dirty deed done, we sped away, car windows wide open in drizzly rain, yet the whiff persisted.
There's the fungal whiff of damp shrubbery with a Pinot
And if they have to put up with the whiff of something not entirely pleasant in order to keep it safe and secure, well, the DUP have strong stomachs.
IMAGINE the whiff of mothballs, the waft of a suit that sees the light of day only for weddings, funerals - and elections.
The Birkenhead-born star tells the ECHO he never wanted to cause any trouble when he had a quick whiff of helium from a balloon live on air.
They blamed "a distinct whiff of laziness among men." Plus a possible whiff of something else.
TOKYO -- The whiff of a Whopper made hundreds of customers hungry for a Burger King special Wednesday -- ''Flame Grilled'' cologne.
Summary: Frankfurt: The world's auto industry said it believes it can smell the whiff of recovery ...
Scientists say blood and oxygen create the white light visits from realm but reconnected one, in whiff condition had improved so rapidly that she was able to be released from the hospital within weeks without a trace of cancer in her body.
The company says the promotion "challenges men to take a whiff of what a double dose of confidence smells like."
* Grateful Dead T-shirt, pounds 32.99, www.truffleshuffle.co.uk 3PERFECT PONG YOU might think this embarrassingly-named fragrance - go on, you try walking into a shop and asking for a bottle of Fat Electrician - would conjure up the distasteful image of a builder's jeans cleavage upon first whiff. Luckily, you get nothing of the sort, this notoriously unorthodox French perfume house having instead come up with a mix of hot asphalt, vanilla, patchouli and vetiver to create a most beguiling whiff.