The word "whiff" is similar to the word "smell," but encountering the smell may not be intentional. Instead, a whiff might be sudden and unexpected.
- We caught a whiff of pizza and Italian food as we passed the pizzeria.
- Did you get a whiff of that cologne? It stunk.
- A strong whiff of the chemicals made the girl feel dizzy.
- Here, get a whiff of this. Doesn’t it smell great?
- A sudden whiff of skunk odor entered the car as we drove down the highway.
It’s also possible to use "whiff" as a verb, but it’s not very common:
- The dog whiffed the air and caught the scent of a fox.
- Travis couldn’t help but whiff several varieties of perfume as he walked through the entrance to Macy’s department store.
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This page was first publshed on December 26, 2013. It was updated on October 1, 2016.