• WordNet 3.6
    • n nostril either one of the two external openings to the nasal cavity in the nose
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Each nostril of a human being register smell in a different way. Smells that are made from the right nostril are more pleasant than the left. However, smells can be detected more accurately when made by the left nostril
    • Nostril (Anat) One of the external openings of the nose, which give passage to the air breathed and to secretions from the nose and eyes; one of the anterior nares.
    • Nostril Perception; insight; acuteness. "Methinks a man
      Of your sagacity and clear nostril should
      Have made another choice."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Kiwis are the only known bird to have nostrils located at the tip of their beak
    • n nostril One of the external openings of the nose; a nasal orifice; a naris or narial aperture. The word is commonly restricted to the external opening. Nostrils are paired, but may be so united as to appear more or less as one. They usually present more or less directly forward, often sidewise, less frequently upward, seldom downward as in man. They are found in almost every shape that a hole can take, and details of their configuration and position often furnish zoölogical characters. In animals below mammals the nostrils are usually, if not always, motionless. In most mammals they are mobile, much more so than in man, being furnished with well-developed muscles for dilatation and contraction or even complete closure. Thus, among cetaceans and various other aquatic mammals the nostrils are perfectly valvular, guarding against the entrance of water. In those animals whose nose is a tactile organ the nostrils are sometimes fringed with processes like tentacles, as in the star-nosed mole. The nostrils of birds are often prominent horny tubes, as those of petrels and some goatsuckers. See cuts under bill, fulmar, and Condylura.
    • n nostril Scent.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The kiwi has nostrils near the tip of its bill that allows it to sniff the ground for food.
    • n Nostril nos′tril one of the openings of the nose.
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. nosethril, nosethirl, AS. nosþyrl,; nos, for nosu, nose + þyrel, opening, hole, from þyrel, pierced, for þyrhel, fr. purh, through. √261. See Nose, and Through, and cf. Thrill
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. nosethirl—A.S. nosthyrlnosu, nose, thyrel, opening. Cf. Drill, to pierce, and Thrill.


In literature:

Her lips were compressed, her nostrils wide, her level eyes unsubdued.
"The Killer" by Stewart Edward White
A damp smell came up to his nostrils from the moist staircase.
"Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster" by F. Marion Crawford
The Salarik was inside the corridor now, his nostrils spread, assaying each and every odor in this strange place.
"Plague Ship" by Andre Norton
The breath caught in his nostrils as he waited for her definite refusal.
"Sally Bishop" by E. Temple Thurston
The breeze brought to her nostrils the sweet aroma of the sage.
"The Sheriff's Son" by William MacLeod Raine
Her mouth had been open, the nostrils of her fine little nose had quivered.
"Atlantis" by Gerhart Hauptmann
His nostrils, always sensitive to the odors of flowers, drank it in rapturously.
"The Dreamer" by Mary Newton Stanard
A moist sense of growing things, the breath of spring, came into his nostrils.
"The Shoulders of Atlas" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
By this time the guardian had gone to Jane's assistance and was pressing a bottle of smelling salts to the nostrils of Janus Grubb.
"The Meadow-Brook Girls in the Hills" by Janet Aldridge
The contraction and expansion of the nostrils indicate active congestion of the lungs.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce

In poetry:

Thrice around a maiden
Was the serpent wound;
Fire-breathing nostrils
Cast a glare around.
"Fairy Tale" by Boris Pasternak
The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in mine ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.
"The Mystic Sea" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
But the souls of the men to whose nostrils
Had risen the smoke of the fight,
Soon tired of the shore and of slumber,
Soon yearned for the red battle light.
"Tobermory Bay" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
Among petals pale as death
And leaves steadfast in shape
They sleep on, mouth to mouth.
A white mist is going up.
The small green nostrils breathe,
And they turn in their sleep.
"The Sleepers" by Sylvia Plath
Before the blackbird pecked the turf they woke;
At dawn the deer's wet nostrils blew their last.
To forest, haunt of runs and prime repast,
With paying blows, the yokel strained his yoke.
"Forest History" by George Meredith
She rose when I hit her. I saw the stream glitter,
A wide scarlet nostril flashed close to my knee,
Between sky and water The Clown came and caught her,
The space that he cleared was a caution to see.
"How We Beat The Favourite" by Adam Lindsay Gordon

In news:

In a healthy person the breath will alternate between nostrils about every two hours but because most people are not in optimum health, this time period varies considerably between people and reduces their vitality.
"And the smoke and your prayers will carry right up to God's nostrils .".
I have heard religious men discuss most aspects of God, but never his nostrils .
In many mammals, pheromones are sniffed out by the vomeronasal organ, two small pits or tubes behind the nostrils.
If you are smelling something bad on folks who don't work for you, take a whiff within: perhaps what clogs your nostrils is the stench of your own unexamined sewage.
The putrid odor that offended nostrils throughout Southern California on Monday was on the minds of two Riverside County supervisors during the board's weekly meeting.
The putrid odor that offended nostrils throughout Southern California was on the minds of two Riverside County supervisors during their weekly meeting Tuesday, Sept 11.
Clearing your nostrils while you run is part science, part art—and totally useful.
It can enter the human body through the nostrils and be potentially life threatening.
Most cases of infection are caused by swimming in contaminated water, which can allow the brain-eating amoeba to enter the nostrils.
Or drink alcohol till it spews from your nostrils.
Sea otters have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water.
When our president OK's same-sex marriage, that is a stench in the nostrils of God.
It seeps into your nostrils and won't go away.
In this foreign language video, competitors from different nations compete for the nose rinsing world championship, seeing who can funnel the most water in one nostril and then out the other over a set period of time.

In science:

And the “Mars face” looks rather different in images taken at different angles and resolutions (Neukum 2006), though the most easily deluded author still sees the bits of terrain that made up the nostrils, eyebrows, lips, and chin.
Astrophysics in 2006