nose test

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Suggesting the identification of something by how it smells.


nose test (plural nose tests)

  1. (idiomatic) An informal method for determining whether something is authentic, credible, or ethical, by using one's common sense or sense of propriety.
    • 1991, Josh Barbanel, "Access Is Money for City Hall Lobbyists," New York Times, 26 Mar. (retrieved 7 Feb. 2009):
      In many cases, said Henry J. Stern, the president of the Citizens Union, a civic group, and a former city Parks Commissioner, "you have to apply the nose test." "Does it smell?" he said, referring to such deals. "Is it based on a personal relationship? Does it run contrary to the city's interest?"
  2. An inspection of an object using the sense of smell, as for freshness of food.
    • 1975, Bob Bender, "Safety Checklist While Boating," St. Petersburg Times, 30 Jun. (retrieved 7 Feb. 2009):
      Make the "nose test" sniffing for fumes, before starting engines.
  3. (physiology) An inspection of the nasal passages or a trial of their function, as for breathing difficulties.
    • 2004, Helen Fields, "Rub your nose in it," U.S. News & World Report, 8 Nov. (retrieved 7 Feb. 2009):
      The pollen blocker cream appeared to help; after using the cream, people did better on the nose test.


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