Definition of niff in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɪf/
British informal


An unpleasant smell: the horrible fishy niff
More example sentences
  • Top Tip: a few drops of tea tree oil in the bottom prevents nasty niffs.
  • Councillors are calling on the Government to get involved in ending a nasty niff pervading Castle Point.
  • Council environment chiefs have launched an investigation into the source of the nasty niff.


[no object]
Have an unpleasant smell: a dark room that always niffed a bit
More example sentences
  • Instead of niffing of pongy feet, the new hi-tech trainers could smell of lemons or even wild flowers.
  • Note, this part after the niffing has not been documented by any of the expert folks as yet for us newbies.



Pronunciation: /ˈnɪfi/
adjective (niffier, niffiest)
Example sentences
  • Because fish can be a bit niffy and you don't want to whiff up your best suit?
  • It did get a bit niffy in there so every so often I swapped sides.
  • They prefer to live in groups and need frequent cleaning-out because ratties are a bit niffy!


Early 20th century (originally dialect): perhaps from sniff.

Words that rhyme with niff

biff, cliff, glyph, if, kif, miff, quiff, riff, skew-whiff, skiff, sniff, spliff, stiff, tiff, whiff

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: niff

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