snuff

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snuff,

preparation of pulverized tobacco used by sniffing it into the nostrils, chewing it, or placing it between the gums and the cheek. The blended tobacco from which it is made is often aged for two or three years, fermented at least twice, ground, and usually flavored and scented. In pre-Columbian times, snuff was used in the West Indies, in Mexico, and in parts of South America. Adoption of the practice in Europe was encouraged by belief in its medicinal virtue. From Europe the custom was carried to the Middle East and Asia. The highest status of snuff taking was attained in the 18th cent., when it was practiced by both men and women. The richly ornamented snuffboxes of the time are now esteemed by collectors. A ritual of taking snuff developed, with prescribed ways of tapping and opening the box and offering it to others. Later the practice of dipping snuff into the mouth with a stick or brush, or of inserting it between the cheek and gums, largely replaced sniffing it into the nostrils.

snuff

1. finely powdered tobacco for sniffing up the nostrils or less commonly for chewing
2. a small amount of this
3. any powdered substance, esp one for sniffing up the nostrils
References in classic literature ?
Suppose the servant really killed the master, or suppose the master isn't really dead, or suppose the master is dressed up as the servant, or suppose the servant is buried for the master; invent what Wilkie Collins' tragedy you like, and you still have not explained a candle without a candlestick, or why an elderly gentleman of good family should habitually spill snuff on the piano.
He had snuff because it was the eighteenth century luxury; wax candles, because they were the eighteenth century lighting; the mechanical bits of iron represent the locksmith hobby of Louis XVI; the diamonds are for the Diamond Necklace of Marie Antoinette.
I am perfectly sure it isn't," answered Father Brown, "only you said that nobody could connect snuff and diamonds and clockwork and candles.
Henderland's dwelling, than to my great surprise (for I was now used to the politeness of Highlanders) he burst rudely past me, dashed into the room, caught up a jar and a small horn-spoon, and began ladling snuff into his nose in most excessive quantities.
When, in the course of a deal, those sickening dissertations on the game would take place, the chevalier invariably drew out his snuff-box with a gesture that was worthy of Mole, looked at the Princess Goritza, raised the cover with dignity, shook, sifted, massed the snuff, and gathered his pinch, so that by the time the cards were dealt he had decorated both nostrils and replaced the princess in his waistcoat pocket,--always on his left side.
Many persons envied the quiet existence of this old bachelor, spent on whist, boston, backgammon, reversi, and piquet, all well played, on dinners well digested, snuff gracefully inhaled, and tranquil walks about the town.
Deane, and then took his pinch of snuff with elaborate justice to each nostril.
After a while he re-entered it as if to snuff the candles, and, seeing the prince was lying on the sofa, looked at him, noticed his perturbed face, shook his head, and going up to him silently kissed him on the shoulder and left the room without snuffing the candles or saying why he had entered.
As the little man concluded, he took an emphatic pinch of snuff, as a tribute to the smartness of Messrs.
The little man took another pinch of snuff as he made this communication, and nodded mysteriously to Mr.
In his left hand was a gold snuff-box, from which, as he capered down the hill, cutting all manner of fantastic steps, he took snuff incessantly with an air of the greatest possible self-satisfaction.