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Suggesting the identification of something by how it smells.


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nose test (plural nose tests)

  1. (idiomatic) An informal method for determining whether something is authentic, credible, or ethical, by using one's common sense or sense of propriety.
    • 1991, Josh Barbanel, "Access Is Money for City Hall Lobbyists," New York Times, 26 Mar. (retrieved 7 Feb. 2009):
      In many cases, said Henry J. Stern, the president of the Citizens Union, a civic group, and a former city Parks Commissioner, "you have to apply the nose test." "Does it smell?" he said, referring to such deals. "Is it based on a personal relationship? Does it run contrary to the city's interest?"
  2. An inspection of an object using the sense of smell, as for freshness of food.
    • 1975, Bob Bender, "Safety Checklist While Boating," St. Petersburg Times, 30 Jun. (retrieved 7 Feb. 2009):
      Make the "nose test" sniffing for fumes, before starting engines.
  3. (physiology) An inspection of the nasal passages or a trial of their function, as for breathing difficulties.
    • 2004, Helen Fields, "Rub your nose in it," U.S. News & World Report, 8 Nov. (retrieved 7 Feb. 2009):
      The pollen blocker cream appeared to help; after using the cream, people did better on the nose test.


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