Definition of niff in English:


Line breaks: niff
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] Back to top  
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.


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



adjective (niffier, niffiest)
More 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!

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards