whiff

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v whiff utter with a puff of air "whiff out a prayer"
    • v whiff smoke and exhale strongly "puff a cigar","whiff a pipe"
    • v whiff strike out by swinging and missing the pitch charged as the third
    • v whiff drive or carry as if by a puff of air "The gust of air whiffed away the clouds"
    • v whiff perceive by inhaling through the nose "sniff the perfume"
    • n whiff a strikeout resulting from the batter swinging at and missing the ball for the third strike
    • n whiff a lefteye flounder found in coastal waters from New England to Brazil
    • n whiff a short light gust of air
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The blow of a whale has a strong, foul odor. It apparently smells like a combination of spoiled fish and old oil. Because whales have such terrible breath, sailors believed at one time that a whiff of it could cause brain disorders.
    • Whiff A glimpse; a hasty view.
    • Whiff A sudden expulsion of air from the mouth; a quick puff or slight gust, as of air or smoke. "But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
      The unnerved father falls."
      "The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,
      And a scornful laugh laughed he."
    • Whiff (Zoöl) The marysole, or sail fluke.
    • Whiff To carry or convey by a whiff, or as by a whiff; to puff or blow away. "Old Empedocles, . . . who, when he leaped into Etna, having a dry, sear body, and light, the smoke took him, and whiffed him up into the moon."
    • v. i Whiff To emit whiffs, as of smoke; to puff.
    • Whiff To throw out in whiffs; to consume in whiffs; to puff.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n whiff A slight blast or gust of air; especially, a puff of air conveying some smell.
    • n whiff A quick inhalation of air, and especially of smoke; a drawing or drinking; in of smoke; also, a draught or drink, as of wine or liquid.
    • n whiff A sudden expulsion of air, smoke, or the like from the mouth; a puff.
    • n whiff A hasty view; a glimpse; a gliff.
    • n whiff At Oxford and other places on the Thames, a light kind of outrigger boat. It is timber-built throughout, thus differing from a skiff, which is a racing-boat, usually of cedar, and covered with canvas for some distance at the bow and stern. Encyc. Dict.
    • whiff To puff; blow; produce or emit a puff or whiff.
    • whiff To drink.
    • whiff To puff; puff out; exhale; blow: as, to whiff out rings of smoke.
    • whiff To carry as by a slight blast or whiff of wind.
    • whiff To draw in; imbibe; inhale: said of air or smoke, and frequently of liquids also.
    • n whiff An anacanthine or malacopterygious fish of the family Pleuronectidæ, a kind of flatfish or flounder, the Cynicoglossus microcephalus, found in British waters; the smear-dab, sail-fluke, or marysole.
    • whiff To fish, as for mackerel, with a hand-line. See whiffing, n.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Whiff hwif a sudden puff of air or smoke from the mouth: a slight blast: a light kind of outrigger boat:
    • v.t Whiff to throw out in whiffs: to puff
    • v.i Whiff to go out or off in a whiff
    • n Whiff a fickle, light-headed person
    • v.i Whiff hwif to fish with a hand-line
    • n Whiff hwif (prov.) a glimpse
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. weffe, vapor, whiff, probably of imitative origin; cf. Dan. vift, a puff, gust, W. chwiff, a whiff, puff
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
W. chwiff, a puff; imit.

Usage

In literature:

Just this last night you will be able to carry away with you a whiff of real sweetbriar.
"Rose of Old Harpeth" by Maria Thompson Daviess
It just needs a whiff of tobacco to complete our enjoyment.
"Pearl of Pearl Island" by John Oxenham
You wouldn't mind my taking a whiff, sir, would you?
"Red Money" by Fergus Hume
I catch the whiff of flowers.
"Children of the Market Place" by Edgar Lee Masters
For, to tell the truth, Sancho, she gave me such a whiff of raw onions that it was like to upset me altogether.
"Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12)" by Various
The doctor had prescribed a tonic and a whiff of Simla frivolity; but Roy paid no heed.
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
I had to sneak away, behind the shrubbery at the end of the garden, for stealthy whiffs.
"Grey Roses" by Henry Harland
It still exhaled, like a whiff of lost roses, something of her vanished grace.
"Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man" by Marie Conway Oemler
Old men smoke slowly and in great whiffs with long intervals of silence between their observations.
"The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
And the whiff of the fresh clover-blossoms?
"The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863" by Various
A whiff of perfumery made him sure.
"The Vehement Flame" by Margaret Wade Campbell Deland
Say, take a whiff o' this an' tell me what y' think it is.
"The Voice in the Fog" by Harold MacGrath
In looking round the Bay towards the Bluff, he saw a boat with a whiff on.
"The Book of the Bush" by George Dunderdale
She expected to find the place deserted, and was surprised by a whiff of tobacco-smoke as she entered.
"The Odds" by Ethel M. Dell
He drew his handkerchief from his inner pocket, and as he did so a whiff of violets came remindingly, but he paid no heed.
"The Witness" by Grace Livingston Hill Lutz
They got an occasional whiff of the scandal that was pursuing their names.
"The Skipper and the Skipped" by Holman Day
Then I got weary and came out for a whiff of air.
"Four Weird Tales" by Algernon Blackwood
Calhoun, though, got a whiff of something strange, not scorched or burning vegetation at all.
"This World Is Taboo" by Murray Leinster
He lighted the pipe, and after taking a whiff, passed it to Ralph, who, following his example, passed it to me.
"The Path of Duty, and Other Stories" by H. S. Caswell
Let two of your men stay here and whiff pipes with my fellows, while I go aboard!
"Heralds of Empire" by Agnes C. Laut
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In poetry:

"Dear Grif,
Here is a whiff
Of beautiful spring flowers;
The big red rose
Is for your nose,
As toward the sky it towers.
"Dear Grif" by Louisa May Alcott
Give ear unto the gentle lay
That's only sad that it may please;
It is discreet, and light it is:
A whiff of wind o'er buds in May.
"Give Ear Unto The Gentle Lay" by Paul Verlaine
You little friend, your nose is ready; you sniff,
Asking for that expected walk,
(Your nostrils full of the happy rabbit-whiff)
And almost talk.
"Dog" by Harold Monro
"Last night the moon had a golden ring,
And to-night no moon we see!"
The skipper, he blew whiff from his pipe,
And a scornful laugh laughed he.
"The Wreck Of The Hesperus" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Some were whose Scent exhaled the Asphodel,
And some whose Smoke gave forth a roseate Smell,
And some poor Weeds that told you at a Whiff
How they were made to Give Away, not Sell.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin
All things are well with her.
'T is good to be alive, to see the light
That plays upon the grass, to feel (and sigh
With perfect pleasure) the mild breezes stir
Among the garden roses, red and white,
With whiffs of fragrancy.
"Afternoon" by Emma Lazarus

In news:

Whiffs in final debate over foreign policy.
This week, Los Angeles got a whiff of the future.
It was not, however, a whiff of burning rubber that gave it away.
If that idea has the whiff of failure about it, well, sniff again.
Despite Smoak 's 2 homers, M's whiff way to ugly loss.
Or, "A Whiff of Nativism".
A Wisp of Carbon, a Whiff of Gases.
It's rare to find a Santa Monica-based festival that doesn't take place within a whiff of the ocean.
Effort to get team in Clovis whiffs.
A whiff of glamour , smuggled from the past.
President shouldn't whiff on second chance for jobs and oil.
Smith — Gapshots & Whiffs - tsmith@morrisdailyherald.com.
Giants 10, Astros 0 Cain whiffs 14 in first perfecto for franchise.
Like any familiar scent, the whiff of a new car can tug on our emotions.
Southwest coach pokes fun at fantasy whiff.
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In science:

Think of a ruler held up vertically on your finger: this very unstable position will lead eventually to its collapse, as a result of a small (or an absence of adequate) motion of your hand or due to any tiny whiff of air.
How to grow a bubble: A model of myopic adapting agents
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