sniff test

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Etymology 1[edit]

By metaphorical extension from an actual test one might perform with one's sense of smell, as for freshness of food or cleanness of clothes.


sniff test (plural sniff tests)

  1. (idiomatic) An informal check of an idea or proposal, using one's common sense or sense of propriety.
    Synonym: reality check
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


sniff test (plural sniff tests)

  1. A fluoroscopic medical test during which the examinee is asked to "sniff" (quickly breathe in through the nose); diaphragm fluoroscopy.
    • 1995, Charis Roussos, The Thorax: Disease, page 1771:
      The most reliable radiographic maneuver to detect paradoxical movement is the sniff test, consisting of rapidly repeated inspirations through the nostrils during fluoroscopy.