nose out

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nose out (third-person singular simple present noses out, present participle nosing out, simple past and past participle nosed out)

  1. (transitive, informal) To find using one's sense of smell.
    • 2011 September 12, Yogesh Avasthi, “It’s a dog’s life for railway sniffers”, in Ahmedabad Mirror[1]:
      Trained to nose out anything from a hidden handgun to a cache of dynamite, the dogs are employed to check important trains like Rajdhani Express or Ashram Express when they arrive at the platform.
    • 1837, Charles F. Partington, The british cyclopedia of natural history
      In the second place, do sharks really follow ships, when there are corpses on board, more than they do at other times ? and if so, by what particular organisation does a fish in the water continue to nose out the particular origin and direction of an effluvium...
  2. (transitive, informal, figuratively) To find by searching.
  3. (transitive, informal) To defeat by a small margin.
    • 2011 September 3, Ron Gierkink, “Atlantic Hurricane beats Embur's Song”, in ESPN[2]:
      Rashnaa nosed out Amiable Grace to finish a distant third in a field reduced to seven after the scratches of Comic Marvel and Dance to the Moon...