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1. The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract.
2. The sense of smell: a dog with a good nose.
3. The ability to detect, sense, or discover as if by smell: has a nose for gossip.
4. The characteristic smell of a wine or liqueur; bouquet.
5. Informal The nose considered as a symbol of prying: Keep your nose out of my business.
6. Something, such as the forward end of an aircraft, rocket, or submarine, that resembles a nose in shape or position.
7. A very short distance or narrow margin: won the race by a nose.
v. nosed, nos·ing, nos·es
1. To find out by or as if by smell: nosed out the thieves' hiding place.
2. To touch with the nose; nuzzle.
3. To move, push, or make with or as if with the nose.
4. To advance the forward part of cautiously: nosed the car into the flow of traffic.
1. To smell or sniff.
2. Informal To search or inquire meddlesomely; snoop or pry: nosing around looking for opportunities.
3. To advance with caution: The ship nosed into its berth.
To defeat by a narrow margin.
down (one's) nose Informal
With disapproval, contempt, or arrogance: Year-round residents here look down their noses at the summer people.
on the nose
Exactly; precisely: predicted the final score on the nose.
under (someone's) nose
In plain view: The keys are right under your nose.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See Also: FACIAL DETAILS
- A fabulous outsized nose attached to his face like a sheltering of stone —Pat Conroy
- A flattish nose like a prizefighter —Beryl Bainbridge
- His nose made two twists from bridge to end, like the wriggle of a snake —O. Henry
- His nose stuck out like the first joint of a thumb —Frederick O. Brien
- His nostrils heaved like a pair of blacksmith’s bellows —Isaac Babel
- A large nose like a trumpet —Edward Lear
- Little snub nose, like a bulldog’s —Colette
- A long narrow nose which clung against his face as if reluctant to leave it —MacKinlay Kantor
- A long nose flattened as if it had been tied down —Willa Cather
- A long pink nose like a crooked beckoning finger in the middle of his face —Sue Miller
- Nose … as big as an orange and the skin stretched over it was pebbled like an orange —François Camoin
See Also: SKIN
- Nose broad as a teacup —Carolyn Chute
- Nose … crackled with tiny veins, like the nose of a hardened boozer —Gavin Lyall
- A nose like a Bartlett pear —James Whitcomb Riley
- A nose like a battering ram —Ross Macdonald
- Nose like a bone —Ivan Bunin
- A nose like a boot —Michael Gilbert
- Nose like a butcher’s thumb —Mary Hedin
- Nose like a delicate scythe —Mary Hedin
- Nose like a duck’s bill —Ivan Turgenev
- Nose [of a heavy drinker] like a fire ball —Erich Maria Remarque
- Nose like a gherkin —Jonathan Valin
- Nose like a jungle-bird’s —William H. Gass
- Nose like a knife blade —R. Wright Campbell
- Nose like a letter opener —Jonathan Valin
- Nose [Julius Caesar’s] like an elephant’s trunk —George Bernard Shaw
- Nose like an engorged purple potato —Sarah Bird
- Nose like a parrot’s beak —Honoré de Balzac
- Nose like a scimitar —William H. Hallhan
- A nose like a spear in youth, in middle age becomes more like a shield, and in old age a little bit of a thing that looks like a button —William Saroyan
- Nose like a sponge —Maxim Gorky
- Nose like a turkey’s ass —Robert Campbell
- Nose like the beak of a bird —Anton Chekhov
A more specific variant by Donald MacKenzie: nose like a falcon’s beak.
- Nose … long, like the nose in some old Italian pictures —Walter De La Mare
- Nose … sharp as a pen —William Shakespeare
- Nose small and laid back with about as much loft as a light iron —P. G. Wodehouse
- A nose that seemed to have been bent by a tire iron —Jimmy Breslin and Dick Schaap
- Nose was like a wooden peg —Truman Capote
- Nose was very short, just like a baby’s —Joyce Cary
- Nostrils flaring like a colt’s in winter —Charles Johnson
- Nostrils flaring like a trotter —Joan Hess
- Nostrils heaving like a stallion’s —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Nostrils … shaped like the wings of a swallow —Oscar Wilde
- Roman nose stuck up like the beak of a predatory bird —Carlos Baker
- A straight nose, like a crusader modelled on a tomb —Antonia Fraser
- An upturning nose like that of the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland —Frank Swinnerton
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.