Main definitions of snuff in English

: snuff1snuff2

snuff1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Extinguish (a candle or flame)

    ‘a breeze snuffed out the candle’
    • ‘"Well, I better go," I said, snuffing the cigarette in the grass.’
    • ‘Even when fire has been snuffed out, he reminds us, its presence lingers.’
    • ‘Unrelenting and pitiless in their quest for fun, they snuff out their torches and shout louder while walking upon the poor squire.’
    • ‘Another of the king's sniveling nobles had noticed, however, that she slipped out of his house long after candles had been snuffed and fires extinguished.’
    • ‘I noticed Heinrich, the only boy of them without a helmet, shoveling dirt onto the fire to snuff it out.’
    • ‘Quickly I snuffed my cigarette and put it in my pocket.’
    • ‘She dropped the remains of her cigarette on the ground and snuffed it out with the toe of her boot.’
    • ‘And each time, they re-light the fuse right where they snuffed it out the last time.’
    • ‘Sure, the candle was snuffed out at one moment, but that could have been the wind.’
    • ‘My candle was snuffed out and I knew it would never relight again.’
    • ‘Then he swears some more, and snuffs a cigarette in the aisle.’
    • ‘Mysteriously snuffed out candles, weird sensations and shivers down the spine may not be due to the presence of ghosts in haunted houses but to very low frequency sound that is inaudible to humans.’
    • ‘All the candles were snuffed out immediately and a strong smell of brimstone and myrrh filled the room.’
    • ‘The flames were snuffed immediately as she lost concentration.’
    • ‘She closed the tinderbox, snuffing the flames, then settled back down where she was lying before.’
    • ‘Edgar then took the extinguisher nozzle and proceeded to discharge Halon into the aircraft fire door, snuffing out the burning fuel inside the engine bay of the vulnerable fighter.’
    • ‘‘Point well taken,’ Sage remarked, snuffing out his cigarette in the grass and turning around.’
    • ‘But he snuffed it sternly and rose, and the touch of color in his cheeks could easily have been put down to the cold wind outside the chapter house.’
    • ‘Finally, as if being snuffed out like a candle, the sun was gone.’
    • ‘The candles had been snuffed out since I'd last been awake and the door was shut.’
    extinguish, put out, douse, smother, choke, stamp out, blow out, quench, stub out, turn out, dampen, damp down
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Trim the charred wick from (a candle).
    2. 1.2informal Kill or put an end to in an abrupt or sudden manner.
      ‘his life was snuffed out by a sniper's bullet’
      • ‘Although I have no explanation, I felt it would be an okay thing to die right then, nothing to be scared of, whereas before the thought of being snuffed out before my time has always made me feel sad about not having had kids.’
      • ‘The Bunsen burners that inspired thousands of young Scots to become scientists are in danger of being snuffed out.’
      • ‘But solid Warriors defence snuffs out the early threat.’
      • ‘While electric cars are being snuffed out, automakers are trotting out hybrid vehicles as the answer for fuel-economy-conscious consumers.’
      • ‘They saw, in him, an enemy, who, if he was not snuffed out, would overwhelm them sooner or later.’
      • ‘It woke me up to what's happening, and how easily lives can be snuffed out.’
      • ‘We are not passing judgment on the guardians of the children whose young lives have been snuffed out in such tragic circumstances but seek merely to remind all parents and guardians in our land to leave nothing to chance in their duties.’
      • ‘If racism is to be snuffed out altogether then a much greater priority must be the eradication of poverty, its real fuel.’
      • ‘Billy Jo's family is literally smothered by the ubiquitous dust; her community is being snuffed out by its grip.’
      • ‘And when he broke off the engagement, it felt as though life had been snuffed out.’
      • ‘Try to imagine the absolute certainty of knowing that in a few hours your life will be deliberately snuffed out, as punishment for something you didn't do.’
      • ‘He came back on the offensive but still the York side tackled hard to snuff out scoring chances.’
      • ‘It was a sad tale of separation and sorrow, with the period of happiness being all too brief, though the love in the hearts of the romantic couple, refused to be snuffed out by deceit and conspiracy.’
      • ‘A new business was dangerously close to being snuffed out for ever.’
      • ‘Her life had been snuffed out before it had really begun.’
      • ‘In a species as hungry for social interaction as ours, a trait that causes some individuals to shrink from the group ought to have been snuffed out pretty early on.’
      • ‘I wonder how many lives will have be snuffed out before both peoples come to the conclusion that peaceful co-existence can be the only answer, if future generations have to live to tell the tale.’
      • ‘But all of that stands to be snuffed out, they say there, if this security situation is not brought under control rapidly, and if the reconstruction is not sped up markedly and very soon.’
      • ‘Pakistan's hopes were snuffed out well before lunch after he struck in the very first ball of the day.’
      • ‘Sluggish growth in Europe and Japan would also be snuffed out and the oversupply of low value-added exports from China and emerging Asia would grind to a halt as rates rose sharply.’
    3. 1.3snuff itBritish informal no object Die.
      ‘the old girl's snuffed it’
      • ‘Our original drummer jumped in front of a truck and snuffed it.’
      • ‘He can't hold a bedside vigil until the boy either wakes up of snuffs it!’
      • ‘It simply happened, and it's a shame that he had to snuff it, but we all do in the end I suppose.’
      • ‘The family is in line for money left by Mother but not before the old boy upstairs snuffs it.’
      • ‘There were a lot of conversations about auntie or granny snuffing it so the kids could divvy up the profits from a sale.’
      • ‘I have always joked that I would love to do the same and snuff it on the mat.’
      • ‘Tony was always getting stuff bought for him, just because his dad snuffed it on his motorbike.’
      • ‘All these ideas are unfortunately ultimately dependent on whoever is around me when I snuff it, however.’
      • ‘If I were to snuff it now, not a soul would be the wiser for it.’
      • ‘China is the only place on earth where women are snuffing it at a higher rate than men.’
      • ‘Even after snuffing it, foreigners continue to be financially desirable.’
      • ‘Well, she and Theo were like two peas in a pod until Theo's father snuffed it.’
      • ‘Even if your name is Lazarus, you're going to snuff it one day - and dying is the one certain event for which you can plan ahead!’
      • ‘If she snuffs it, will normal television programmes be suspended and will there be a national Three Minute Silence?’
      • ‘They'll buy a house, turn it into their own personal nursing home and when the last of them snuffs it, the nurses get the house.’
      • ‘And, in keeping with the rites of spring, thousands of Humboldt squid are snuffing it on Newport Beach.’
      • ‘Conditions were so bad that even the invading mice had snuffed it… four of them were found dead under one of her long-lost armchairs.’
      • ‘Another piece features Rooney's grandfather, who says he is so happy to see his son starring for England that ‘I wouldn't care if I snuffed it after this.’’
      • ‘Even if you didn't snuff it in a couple of weeks, your liver certainly wouldn't be fine thirty years down the road.’
      • ‘There was clearly something at stake because several key, engaging characters snuffed it.’

noun

  • The charred part of a candle wick.

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

snuff

/snʌf/

Main definitions of snuff in English

: snuff1snuff2

snuff2

noun

mass noun
  • Powdered tobacco that is sniffed up the nostril rather than smoked.

    ‘a pinch of snuff’
    • ‘On one occasion, he was walking inland up Deeside to fulfil an engagement, and stopped to take a pinch of snuff.’
    • ‘A pinch of snuff, inhaled through the nose, used to be a common way of using tobacco.’
    • ‘If pub owners really knew what they were at, they'd start selling snuff or some other kind of smokeless tobacco.’
    • ‘Although bubble gum and candy are also packaged to resemble snuff, chewing tobacco, pipes, and cigars, we do not know if similar evidence exists for such products or in other countries.’
    • ‘Occurrences of the disease have been reported, but uncommonly, in persons who use smokeless tobacco or snuff.’
    • ‘I would take my brown bag lunch down to Fish Creek behind the football field where I had smoked pot and done snuff back in my middle school.’
    • ‘I do not drink or smoke but take snuff occasionally.’
    • ‘Get rid of all your chewing tobacco or snuff before your quit date.’
    • ‘A pinch of snuff may be placed between the cheek and the gum or inhaled into the nostrils.’
    • ‘He had smoked since 1970 and had used oral snuff since 1980.’
    • ‘Russians used to be sent to Siberia for taking snuff.’
    • ‘Tobacco and snuff were convenient and acceptable items, and more luxurious fare was provided when possible.’
    • ‘Tobacco taken in the form of snuff contains mutagens that can cause nose tumors.’
    • ‘The history of chewing and smoking tobacco, and of taking snuff, is of great antiquity.’
    • ‘With a single movement he sniffed up snuff from the back of his hand.’
    • ‘All forms of tobacco have been implicated as causative agents, including cigarette, cigar and pipe tobacco as well as chewing tobacco and snuff.’
    • ‘After a committee advised the government to ban oral snuff, the government acted in accordance with the recommendation.’
    • ‘Switching from cigarettes to a pipe or cigars, or using snuff or oral tobacco (chewing tobacco), does not reduce the risk.’
    • ‘Eating out every other day or habits like chewing betel leaves, tobacco, taking snuff, smoking, and drinking take their toll on one's health and voice.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Inhale or sniff at (something).

    1. 1.1archaic no object Sniff up powdered tobacco.
      ‘they smoked and snuffed a great deal’

Phrases

  • up to snuff

    • 1informal Up to the required standard.

      ‘they need a million dollars to get their facilities up to snuff’
      • ‘More attention to detail - making sure his physique was evenly balanced and that weak points were brought up to snuff - was required.’
      • ‘He predicts it will have its intended effect simply because teams will be put at a competitive disadvantage if they aren't up to snuff.’
      • ‘Our columnists are required to be up to snuff on everything and muster up opinions on a wide range of topics.’
      • ‘Besides, the competition in the AFC East isn't up to snuff.’
      • ‘There are the occasional stories that on second/third/fourth look didn't hold up and I've very occasionally bought a story that I didn't think was up to snuff that I was pressured to buy for one reason or another.’
      • ‘Okay, so you're not up to snuff on the humble geoduck.’
      • ‘Women's non-revenue producing programs tend to be saved as the number of women athletes competing brings the school involved up to snuff in the eyes of the law.’
      • ‘Coverage has been adequate, but the return game isn't up to snuff.’
      • ‘So what we need to do is make sure that our health care system is up to snuff, so that if we do have that situation or any other kind of major infectious problem, we'll be able to handle it.’
      • ‘Okay, so maybe my time skills aren't all up to snuff.’
      adequate, competent, acceptable, satisfactory, reasonable, fair, decent, good enough, sufficiently good, not bad, all right, average, tolerable, passable, moderate, middling
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1In good health.
        ‘he hadn't felt up to snuff all summer’
    • 2informal Not easily deceived; knowing.

      ‘an up-to-snuff old vagabond’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb): from Middle Dutch snuffen ‘to snuffle’. The noun dates from the late 17th century and is probably an abbreviation of Dutch snuftabak.

Pronunciation

snuff

/snʌf/