Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To inhale (something) audibly through the nose; sniff.
  • intransitive verb To sense or examine by smelling; sniff at.
  • intransitive verb To sniff; inhale.
  • noun The act of snuffing or the sound produced by it; a snuffle.
  • noun A preparation of finely pulverized tobacco that can be drawn up into the nostrils by inhaling.
  • noun The quantity of this tobacco that is inhaled at a single time; a pinch.
  • noun A powdery substance, such as a medicine, taken by inhaling.
  • intransitive verb To use or inhale snuff.
  • idiom (up to snuff) Normal in health.
  • idiom (up to snuff) Up to standard; adequate.
  • noun The charred portion of a candlewick.
  • transitive verb To extinguish.
  • transitive verb To put a sudden end to.
  • transitive verb Slang To kill; murder.
  • transitive verb To cut off the charred portion of (a candlewick).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In currying, to smooth or put out with a sleeker. See to put out , under put, intransitive verb
  • To crop the snuff of, as a candle; take off the end of the snuff from.
  • noun The burning part of a candle- or lamp-wick, or the part which has been charred by the flame, whether burning or not.
  • noun A candle almost burnt out, or one having a heavy snuff.
  • noun Inhalation by the nose; a sniff; also, a pinch of snuff.
  • noun Smell; scent; odor.
  • noun Offense; resentment; huff, expressed by a sniffing.
  • noun A powdered preparation of tobacco taken into the nostrils by inhalation.
  • noun In therapeutics, any powder with medicinal properties to be snuffed up into the nose.
  • noun In mining, same as smift.
  • To draw in through the nose with the breath; inhale: as, to snuff the wind; to snuff tobacco.
  • To scent; smell; take a sniff of: perceive by smelling.
  • To examine by smelling; nose: said of an animal.
  • To inhale air vigorously or audibly, as dogs and horses.
  • To turn up the nose and inhale air, as in contempt or anger; sniff disdainfully or angrily.
  • To smell; especially, to smell curiously or doubtfully.
  • To take snuff into the nose. Compare to dip snuff, under dip, v. t.

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

  • noun The act of snuffing; perception by snuffing; a sniff.
  • noun Pulverized tobacco, etc., prepared to be taken into the nose; also, the amount taken at once.
  • noun obsolete Resentment, displeasure, or contempt, expressed by a snuffing of the nose.
  • noun See Dipping, n., 5.
  • noun one who uses snuff by inhaling it through the nose.
  • noun to be angry or offended.
  • noun [Slang] not likely to be imposed upon; knowing; acute.
  • intransitive verb To inhale air through the nose with violence or with noise, as do dogs and horses.
  • intransitive verb To turn up the nose and inhale air, as an expression of contempt; hence, to take offense.
  • noun The part of a candle wick charred by the flame, whether burning or not.
  • transitive verb To crop the snuff of, as a candle; to take off the end of the snuff of.
  • transitive verb to extinguish by snuffing.
  • transitive verb To draw in, or to inhale, forcibly through the nose; to sniff.
  • transitive verb To perceive by the nose; to scent; to smell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Finely ground or pulverized tobacco intended for use by being sniffed or snorted into the nose.
  • noun Fine-ground or minced tobacco, dry or moistened, intended for use by placing a pinch behind the lip or beneath the tongue; see also snus.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English snoffen, to snuff a candle, sniffle, probably from snoffe, snuff; see snuff.]

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

[Dutch snuf, short for snuftabak : Dutch snuffen, to sniff; see snuffle + tabak, tobacco.]

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

[Middle English snoffe, possibly of Low German origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin uncertain.

Examples

Comments

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  • ...with one nostril he unthinkingly snuffed the sugary musk from the Bashee isles...

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 111

    July 31, 2008

  • Citation on stercoraceous.

    January 3, 2009

  • SPIES, you are lights in state, but of base stuff,

    Who, when you've burnt yourselves down to the snuff,

    Stink, and are thrown away. End fair enough.

    - Ben Jonson, 'To Fool, Or Knave'.

    July 28, 2009

  • “When asked the whereabouts of the campus bookstore, a university student who replied ‘There’s a great show about California condors on Channel 4 tonight’ would certainly cause raised eyebrows, though you couldn’t point to ungrammatical English as the culprit. The student’s grammatical competence would appear to be fine, but his or her communicative competence would seem not up to snuff.�? – Language: Its Structure and Use by Edward Finegan

    October 15, 2009