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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a hint/whiff of scandal (=the suggestion that someone may be involved in a scandal)
▪ He vowed that no hint of scandal would ever be attached to him.
a whiff/hint of perfume (=a very slight smell of perfume )
▪ As she lifted the letter, she caught the faintest hint of perfume.
▪ I thought, catching a strong whiff of perfume.
▪ As I turned out the lights, I caught a whiff of the intense fragrance of hyacinths.
▪ However, the Scribe has caught a whiff of success and further sightings of Colin Chapmans will be gratefully received.
▪ The air outside was colder now and it seemed to me that I caught a whiff of snow in the air.
▪ So he peered, leaning forward to catch a whiff of scent, listening to the man's quiet muttering.
▪ She homed in on it like an eager bee catching a whiff of the first rich blooms of summer.
▪ Corbett caught a whiff of the fragrant incense.
▪ Suddenly, Dawson caught a whiff of a life he would never lead:complex, relaxed, privileged.
▪ Because if it's written by the bourgeoisie, it hasn't got the authentic whiff - what?
▪ There's not a politician in the world we could buy off if they got a whiff of it.
▪ A sniff of tea, a whiff of biscuits, and there would soon be a crowd.
▪ After a few minutes, they were ordered to pull their masks back and take a whiff.
▪ As I turned out the lights, I caught a whiff of the intense fragrance of hyacinths.
▪ Jaq smelled the whiff of genetic pollution.
▪ Snow was involved in a whiff of controversy about some experimental results obtained in the 1930s.
▪ The raindrops are of the big, splashy variety, complete with whiffs of wild winds and churned seas.
▪ They further confused the tone of a piece that had about it the whiff of 1970s radical agitprop.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Marysole \Ma"ry*sole\, n. [Mary, the proper name + sole the fish.] (Zo["o]l.) A large British fluke, or flounder ( Rhombus megastoma); -- called also carter, and whiff.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

13c., weffe "foul scent or odor," of imitative origin. Modern form became popular late 16c. with tobacco smoking, probably influenced by whiffle "blow in gusts or puffs" (1560s). The verb in the baseball slang sense "to swing at a ball and miss" first recorded 1913.

  1. (context colloquial English) Having a strong or unpleasant odor. n. 1 A waft; a brief, gentle breeze; a light gust of air 2 An odour carried briefly through the air 3 A short inhalation of breath, especially of smoke from a cigarette or pipe 4 (context figurative English) a slight sign of something; a glimpse 5 (context baseball English) A strike (from the batter’s perspective) 6 The megrim, a fish (taxlink Lepidorhombus boscii species noshow=1) or (taxlink Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis species noshow=1). v

  2. 1 (context transitive English) To waft. 2 (context transitive English) To sniff. 3 (context intransitive baseball English) To strike out. 4 (slang) to attempt to strike and miss, especially being off-balance/vulnerable after missing. 5 To throw out in whiffs; to consume in whiffs; to puff. 6 To carry or convey by a whiff, or as by a whiff; to puff or blow away.

  1. n. a short light gust of air [syn: puff, puff of air]

  2. a lefteye flounder found in coastal waters from New England to Brazil

  3. a strikeout resulting from the batter swinging at and missing the ball for the third strike

  4. v. perceive by inhaling through the nose; "sniff the perfume" [syn: sniff]

  5. drive or carry as if by a puff of air; "The gust of air whiffed away the clouds"

  6. strike out by swinging and missing the pitch charged as the third

  7. smoke and exhale strongly; "puff a cigar"; "whiff a pipe" [syn: puff]

  8. utter with a puff of air; "whiff out a prayer"


Whiff is a common name for various species of flatfish. It may refer to:

  • Whiff or Megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis), a species of flatfish in the family Scophthalmidae
  • Anglefin whiff (Citharichthys gymnorhinus), a species of flatfish in the family Paralichthyidae
  • Horned whiff (Citharichthys cornutus), a species of flatfish in the family Paralichthyidae
  • Sand whiff (Citharichthys arenaceus), a species of flatfish in the family Paralichthyidae
  • Veracruz whiff (Citharichthys abbotti), a species of flatfish in the family Paralichthyidae

Usage examples of "whiff".

A single faint whiff of this, borne to Donald, on a puff of the night wind, gave him the very knowledge he wanted, and he at once began to move with the same caution that he had observed on the previous evening while creeping up to the fire-lighted circles of the victorious Wyandots.

All the time that Botts was standing near me I could catch that peculiar sweetish whiff which exhales from red-haired people.

She whiffed up the cuff, listened to the brachial pulse as the pressure was slowly released.

His jaw muscles bunch and his nostrils flare and pinch at a dreamed whiff of cadaverine breath.

Marnoo, that all-attractive personage, having satisfied his hunger and inhaled a few whiffs from a pipe which was handed to him, launched out into an harangue which completely enchained the attention of his auditors.

The scratch of his wool sweater and whiffs of naphthalene energized him.

The sea tossed its renovating brine to the determinedly sniffing animal, who went to his meals with an appetite that rendered him cordially eulogistic of the place, in spite of certain frank whiffs of sewerage coming off an open deposit on the common to mingle with the brine.

Roger took a deep breath, a whiff of dead whale mingling with the fecund scent of the salt marsh behind.

Tanalasta and Rowen were still a hundred paces from the bailey when they began to smell hints of death-the fetor of rotting meat, acrid whiffs of charred flesh, the musty odor of newly-opened earth.

In turning over, his face had come close to the big ashtray as it was oversetting and to the gushing kirschwasser bottle and he had gotten whiffs of stinking tobacco tar and stinging, bitter alcohol.

Strictly speaking, ZUG means Pull, Tug, Draught, Procession, March, Progress, Flight, Direction, Expedition, Train, Caravan, Passage, Stroke, Touch, Line, Flourish, Trait of Character, Feature, Lineament, Chess-move, Organ-stop, Team, Whiff, Bias, Drawer, Propensity, Inhalation, Disposition: but that thing which it does NOT mean--when all its legitimate pennants have been hung on, has not been discovered yet.

The whiff of megathere manure wafts up from the kitchen gardens and middens, and the more fragrant smell of peat smoke drifts from chimneys.

He caught a whiff of some flowery scent that Nym had forced her to wear.

The top of the egg sprang back, and the people inside got their first whiffs of the clean, cold air of the Omicron rainstorm.

He pulled a handful of bright green, grasslike plants, pinching the roots off with a thumbnail and offering me a whiff of delicate, oniony scent.