snuff

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Dutch snuffen (to snuff, sniff), related to Dutch snuiven (to sniff), Middle Low German snûve (pose, head-cold), German Schnupfen (head-cold). The noun is probably from Dutch snuf (snuff), an abbreviation of snuftabak, snuiftabak (snuff). Related to sniff (compare Dutch snuffen (snuff), German schnupf (snuff), French schnouff (junk)).

Noun[edit]

snuff (countable and uncountable, plural snuffs)

  1. Finely ground or pulverized tobacco intended for use by being sniffed or snorted into the nose.
  2. Fine-ground or minced tobacco, dry or moistened, intended for use by placing a pinch behind the lip or beneath the tongue; see also snus.
  3. A snort or sniff of fine-ground, powdered, or pulverized tobacco.
  4. The act of briskly inhaling by the nose; a sniff, a snort.
  5. Resentment or skepticism expressed by quickly drawing air through the nose; snuffling; sniffling.
  6. (obsolete) Snot, mucus.
  7. (obsolete) Smell, scent, odour.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

snuff (third-person singular simple present snuffs, present participle snuffing, simple past and past participle snuffed)

  1. To inhale through the nose.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He snuffs the wind, his heels the sand excite.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 6, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473:
      Napoleon paced to and fro in silence, occasionally snuffing at the ground.
  2. To turn up the nose and inhale air, as an expression of contempt; hence, to take offence.
    • (Can we date this quote by Bishop Hall and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Do the enemies of the church rage and snuff?

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English snoffe, snuffe, of uncertain origin. Compare Middle Dutch snuf, snof (snuff), Dutch sneuvelen (to die in battle).

Noun[edit]

snuff (countable and uncountable, plural snuffs)

  1. The burning part of a candle wick, or the black, burnt remains of a wick (which must be periodically removed).
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 3, member 3:
      his memory stinks like the snuff of a candle when it is put out []
    • (Can we date this quote by Jonathan Swift and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      If the burning snuff happens to get out of the snuffers, you have a chance that it may fall into a dish of soup.
  2. (obsolete) Leavings in a glass after drinking; heeltaps.
  3. (slang) A murder.
    • 2004, David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas:
      The cops are chasing their own asses on the St Christopher case, so how about a “Are You St Christopher's Next Slaying?” piece? Profiles of all the snuffs to date and reconstructions of the victims' last minutes.
  4. (attributive) A form of pornographic film which involves someone actually being murdered.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English snuffen, snoffen, from the noun (see Etymology 2 above).

Verb[edit]

snuff (third-person singular simple present snuffs, present participle snuffing, simple past and past participle snuffed)

  1. To extinguish a candle or oil-lamp flame by covering the burning end of the wick until the flame is suffocated.
  2. (obsolete) To trim the burnt part of a candle wick.
    • 1817, Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, [2]:
      The dimness of the light her candle emitted made her turn to it in alarm; but there was no danger of its sudden extinction, it had yet some hours to burn; and that she might not have any greater difficulty in distinguishing the writing than what its ancient date might occasion, she hastily snuffed it. Alas! it was snuffed and extinguished in one.
  3. (slang) To kill a person; to snuff out.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

snuff m (plural snuffs)

  1. snuff (film of death)