Definition of snuffle in English:



  • 1 Breathe noisily through the nose due to a cold or crying.

    ‘Alice was weeping quietly, snuffling a little’
    • ‘Even unfortunate hay-fever sufferers bravely get in on the action, sniffling and snuffling under the branches behind the haphazard protection of white masks.’
    • ‘I snuffled, and leant against his warm body, comforted a little by his arm, which was around me waist, his hand resting on my stomach.’
    • ‘When I got up to my room, my head was spinning as I snuffled into a handkerchief.’
    • ‘Another tear replaced the first, and another, then another and another, until I was snuffling, low whines coming from my throat.’
    • ‘Everyone nodded at that, and Tiffany snuffled miserably.’
    • ‘My mother and I watched the film in the early-evening gloom, snuffling, our noses emptying steadily into our Kleenexes.’
    • ‘While the appellant testified the complainant had been snuffling, she testified she was crying because he had intimidated her to the point of exhaustion, frustration and fear.’
    • ‘I won't be any good if I keep snuffling and sneezing and feeling worse.’
    • ‘Carrie was sitting at the kitchen table, crying, and snuffling and blowing her nose.’
    • ‘Last time it was that ‘When She Loved Me’ song, which had half the audience snuffling; this time it's the last four minutes.’
    • ‘She lay facing the wall, snuffling quietly, tousling her kitty's head.’
    • ‘Elliot still was snuffling in his punctured sleep.’
    • ‘He stood there, shaking violently, then dropped to his knees and snuffled and choked uncontrollably; weeping.’
    • ‘Unwilling to say too much in case the boy, fading from sobs to snuffling, was listening, Al rolled his eyes.’
    • ‘He stopped trying to pull away and snuffled quietly.’
    • ‘Everyone's snuffling, everyone's hot, everyone wants nothing more than to repose on the sofa and have prepackaged entertainment piped down our eyeballs.’
    • ‘The girl was behind me, snuffling, almost completely submersed in the wardrobe.’
    • ‘I drew him closer to me, rocking him slightly as he snuffled and snored.’
    inhale, snuffle, breathe in
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    1. 1.1(especially of an animal) make repeated sniffing sounds as though smelling at something.
      ‘the collie snuffled around his boots’
      ‘she heard a strange, persistent snuffling’
      • ‘They snorted and snuffled, hackles raised, dancing sideways, eyeing each other.’
      • ‘The dog buried his nose up to his ears in the cotton fabric, huffing and snuffling as he drank in the scent.’
      • ‘He crawled on his hands and knees over to Michael, afraid that the warhorse wouldn't let him near, but the grey snuffled at his hair and backed carefully away.’
      • ‘The horse snuffled at his neck, but the boy continued to cry.’
      • ‘The Arabian came up to the paddock rail and snuffled at him.’
      • ‘Then I could hear one thing more: the Dog was snuffling.’
      • ‘It gently placed its right paw in the crook of my arm and snuffled its wet nose in my ear.’
      • ‘The next morning they wake up and go around the whole farm snuffling at the earth, rolling in the dew, eating the grass and so on, overwhelmed with excitement that it is all theirs.’
      • ‘The gelding snuffled at Thorn for a moment, the girl allowing a half-smile.’
      • ‘I could see something snuffling in the dark, I could hear the breathing but I didn't know what it was, didn't even know how I'd gotten here.’
      • ‘Glory nickered and bobbed his head in way of greeting, before stretching his nose to snuffle my face.’
      • ‘When the first birds woke I pretended to sleep, wrapped tightly, wind and animals snuffling outside.’
      • ‘He started snuffling in the grass and scratching at a few things.’
      • ‘She arched and snuffled at me, big brown eyes watching me closely.’
      • ‘They whimpered and whined as they raised their noses to the air and snuffled at the smell that drifted into the clean air.’
      • ‘Anyhow, ten this morning he heard the radio click on then came snuffling at the bottom of the duvet to get me up and out of bed.’
      • ‘The bear is snuffling and snorting and looking around the picnic table for more food.’
      • ‘I lay with my arms wrapped tightly around my chest, listening to the shack moving in the wind, and animals snuffling outside.’
      • ‘A few moments later, I felt a cold, wet nose snuffling in the palm of my hand.’
      • ‘Dust kicked up as the dragon sniffed and snuffled around, searching for their scent.’


  • 1A sniff or sniffing sound.

    ‘a silence broken only by the faint snuffles of the dogs’
    • ‘I really missed hearing his little snuffles in the night; spent most of the night awake straining to hear him breathing over the monitor.’
    • ‘It was so close that she could hear its hot breath escaping in snuffles and wheezes from its fleshy black nose and blood-red mouth.’
    • ‘Okay, so my neighbour may have heard the faintest of snuffles coming from the vague direction of my garden chair as he rattled and coughed his way into his shed in an embarrassed, but valiant, attempt to pretend he hadn't actually seen me.’
    • ‘Then my ears perked up as I heard an unmistakable snuffle.’
    • ‘The crying stopped, muffled by a snuffle, hands swiping away tears, throat unclogging in a cough.’
    • ‘Little whimpers and snuffles started to come out of the girl's mouth.’
    • ‘No sobs, no snuffles, just tears sliding down my pale cheeks.’
    • ‘Dolly has discovered that the little West Highland puppy next door is willing to exchange cautious sniffs and snuffles under the fence and I think she's quite taken with the little mite.’
    • ‘One glance at their healthy-looking and cheerful toddler playing in the corner - despite a bit of a cough, a few snuffles and some pale spots on the trunk - is enough to make this diagnosis highly improbable.’
    • ‘However, I took the risk of putting a hand close to a yowling muzzle and was greeted with a cold nose and a non-committal snuffle before the full-on baying started again.’
    • ‘Which was very nice, but the moment was broken by the snuffles coming from the cloud of blonde hair to my right.’
    • ‘Within a few moments, a wet nose poked itself out from the tablecloth, sniffed at the offered morsel for a few moments, and giving a snuffle of disdain, withdrew itself immediately.’
    • ‘Deer cropped the springy turf beside us, so close we could hear every snuffle and chomp.’
    1. 1.1informal A cold or other infection that causes sniffing.
      ‘he went down with the snuffles’
      • ‘It is fatally simplistic to compare their survival figures, excellent though they are, with those of a small hospital in the suburbs that treats mainly children with snuffles and chest infections.’
      • ‘Winter snuffles are putting the squeeze on the region's blood stocks.’
      • ‘If you or me gets it (which we all have done) we might get a snuffle.’
      • ‘From April on, one in every four Americans suffers from the sneezes, snuffles and itchiness of hay fever - the catch-all term for a range of allergic diseases, the most common of which is allergic rhinitis.’
      • ‘The baby was also quite irritable and prone to colic, poor sleep and frequent fevers with snuffles.’
      • ‘I'm about three weeks overdue for my monthly snuffles, I reckon.’


Late 16th century: probably from Low German and Dutch snuffelen; compare with snuff and snivel.