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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A pear-shaped goblet with a narrow top, used especially in serving brandy.
  • n. Slang A small portion of liquor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small alcoholic drink.
  • n. A pear-shaped glass for drinking brandy or other alcoholic beverages.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sniff; snift.
  • n. An audible passing of the breath through the nostrils; a sniff.
  • n. plural The stoppage of the nostrils in catarrh.
  • n. A dram; a nip.
  • n. A severe storm; a blizzard.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a globular glass with a small top; used for serving brandy


From Middle English snifteren, to sniff, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • I picked up the open bulb of glass that Margo had called a snifter and held it before me, watching the play of light in the red-brown fluid.

    Neutron Star

  • A snifter is a short-stemmed glass with a wide bottom that narrows slightly at the top.


  • You've brought out the truth about that lost coin collection; you've saved Hopewell Drugg from becoming a regular reprobate -- at least, so says his mother-in-law; you've converted Walky Dexter from his habit of taking a 'snifter' ---- "

    How Janice Day Won

  • Before she was fairly clear of the harbour, though, there came a "snifter" from the hills that caught her unprepared, making her reel again, and giving us a desperate few minutes to scramble on board and hoist our boats up.

    The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales

  • An invoice in the file lists one bottle of Teacher's whisky, known to be her drink of choice; one bottle of gin, a "snifter" of which was favoured by her husband, Denis; and 200 Top Stories

  • A translucent, chestnut-colored liquid is brought to the table in a snifter, where the server mists it with Armagnac—the diner thinks she is getting liqueur, but she is, in fact, drinking a perfectly clear squab consommé, redolent with the scent of the autumn hunt.

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

  • And one of the great innovations of 2009 was to create a sequence of game dishes, so that the diner moved from a snifter filled with squab consommé to a rabbit loin with cocoa-dusted foie gras ravioli to rabbit brains in hare “juice.”

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

  • His hand, still holding the brandy snifter, shakes.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • Always so good about anticipating my needs, Blanche brought me cognac in a crystal snifter.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • Keshari poured herself a snifter of Courvoisier to steady her nerves, and then took out a few more blank pages of her stationery to write her next letter.

    Larger Than Lyfe


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  • I also wonder (read my earlier confession) about where a kid gets a name for a snort of booze or a brandy glass when neither of his parents indulge.

    March 23, 2010

  • Sinful Caesar sipped his snifter, seized his knees and sneezed.
    --Singin' in the Rain

    February 27, 2008

  • Snifter was the name of my first and only dog. He was a fox terrier cross and there was an abundance of cross. We bought him from the Dandeonong market. I don't know why I picked this puppy in particular ... what training is there for 4-year-olds in puppy picking? He wasn't very clever or pretty but we were stuck with him and him us. I forgave him for everything: digging where he wasn't supposed to, being run over by cars he was chasing, even for trying to mount the neighbour's mongrel when we went out running on summer evenings. I hope he forgave me too. When he died of renal failure I realised I wasn't a dog person at all. I pined for a penguin but, all things considered, it was problematical.

    November 23, 2007