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.

Click here to learn more words.

This page was first publshed on December 26, 2013. It was updated on October 1, 2016.