from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract.
  • noun The sense of smell.
  • noun The ability to detect, sense, or discover as if by smell.
  • noun The characteristic smell of a wine or liqueur; bouquet.
  • noun Informal The nose considered as a symbol of prying.
  • noun Something, such as the forward end of an aircraft, rocket, or submarine, that resembles a nose in shape or position.
  • noun A very short distance or narrow margin.
  • intransitive verb To find out by or as if by smell.
  • intransitive verb To touch with the nose; nuzzle.
  • intransitive verb To move, push, or make with or as if with the nose.
  • intransitive verb To advance the forward part of cautiously.
  • intransitive verb To smell or sniff.
  • intransitive verb Informal To search or inquire meddlesomely; snoop or pry.
  • intransitive verb To advance with caution.
  • idiom (down (one's) nose) With disapproval, contempt, or arrogance.
  • idiom (on the nose) Exactly; precisely.
  • idiom (under (someone's) nose) In plain view.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A Middle English form of noise.
  • To smell; scent.
  • To face; oppose to the face.
  • To utter in a nasal manner; twang through the nose.
  • To touch, feel, or examine with the nose; toss or rub with the nose.
  • To smell; sniff.
  • To pry curiously or in a meddlesome way.
  • In coal-mining. See the quotation.
  • noun In golf, the extreme end of a club opposite the neck or heel.
  • noun The special organ of the sense of smell, formed by modifications of certain bones and fleshy parts of the face, its cavities, or fossæ, freely communicable with the cavities of the mouth and lungs, and hence also concerned in respiration, the utterance of words or vocal sounds, and taste.
  • noun Hence The sense of smell; the faculty of smelling, or the exercise of that faculty; scent; olfaction.
  • noun Something supposed to resemble a nose.
  • noun An informer.
  • In forestry, to round off the end of (a log) in order to make it drag or slip more easily. Also called snipe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To push or move with the nose or front forward.
  • transitive verb To smell; to scent; hence, to track, or trace out.
  • transitive verb To touch with the nose; to push the nose into or against; hence, to interfere with; to treat insolently.
  • transitive verb rare To utter in a nasal manner; to pronounce with a nasal twang.
  • transitive verb To confront; be closely face to face or opposite to; meet.
  • transitive verb To furnish with a nose.
  • transitive verb To examine with the nose or sense of smell.
  • transitive verb To make by advancing the nose or front end;
  • transitive verb (Racing Slang) to beat by (the length of) a nose.
  • intransitive verb To smell; to sniff; to scent.
  • intransitive verb To pry officiously into what does not concern one; to nose around.
  • noun (Anat.) The prominent part of the face or anterior extremity of the head containing the nostrils and olfactory cavities; the olfactory organ. See Nostril, and Olfactory organ under Olfactory.
  • noun The power of smelling; hence, scent.
  • noun A projecting end or beak at the front of an object; a snout; a nozzle; a spout
  • noun (Carp.) a bit similar to a gouge bit, but having a cutting edge on one side of its boring end.
  • noun (Mach.) a frontal hammer.
  • noun (Glass Making) a small opening in a furnace, before which a globe of crown glass is held and kept soft at the beginning of the flattening process.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English nosu; see nas- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English nose, from Old English nosu, from Proto-Germanic *nusō (compare West Frisian noas, Dutch neus, Norwegian nos ‘snout’), variant of *nasō (cf. Low German Nees, German Nase, Norwegian nese ‘nose’), old dual from Proto-Indo-European *néh₂s- ~ *nh₂es- ‘nose, nostril’ (compare Latin nāris ‘nostril’, nāsus ‘nose’, Lithuanian nósis, Russian нос (nos), Sanskrit नासा (nā́sā) ‘nostrils’).



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  • a substitute for any swear word (ex. you nosing noser, kiss my nose, etc.)

    November 12, 2008

  • Citation on sussurantly.

    June 19, 2009

  • JM wonders if a cow laughed, would milk come out her nose?

    August 13, 2011

  • The parson's, pope's, and sultan's nose -

    Upon the pavonine pygostyle repose.

    December 27, 2011