sniff test

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Etymology 1[edit]

A fluoroscopic medical test during which the examinee is asked to "sniff" (quickly breathe in through the nose)


sniff test (plural sniff tests)

  1. Diaphragm fluoroscopy.

Etymology 2[edit]

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


sniff test (plural sniff tests)

  1. (idiomatic) An informal reality check of an idea or proposal, using one's common sense or sense of propriety.
    • 1993, Terry Collison, "How to ‘Sniff-Test’ a Venture," (retrieved 8 Feb 2009):
      [S]niff-test issues... try to answer the basic question "Does this venture appear to make sense?"

See also[edit]