Definition of on the nose in English:

on the nose

phrase

  • 1To a person's sense of smell.

    ‘the wine is pungently smoky and peppery on the nose’
    • ‘The dominant smell on the nose is of lemon sherbet and orange peel, followed on the palate by a solid, sweet vanillin mouthful.’
    • ‘This one presents peppery spice on the nose and a solid Old World palate.’
    • ‘Refreshing acidity, with ripe raspberry and cracked pepper on the nose.’
    • ‘There is a lot of white pepper on the nose and an underlying hint of marzipan.’
    • ‘Sharp and focused on the nose, it has a soft, round palate with an oily sweetness.’
    • ‘The Montes Folly is a Syrah and is a blockbuster in style, with powerful pungent dark berries on the nose, rich, velvety succulence on the palate and a lengthy, Everest-like finish.’
    • ‘A touch of citrus on the nose; smooth and vibrant with pear overtones; a great value in white Burgundy.’
    • ‘This brings us to this fine Reserve Orvieto, which is cool and redolent of lime on the nose, has a succulent impact, then tumbles effortlessly to a refreshing and well balanced finish.’
    • ‘Light on the nose, with a wash that is sweet with notes of plum and boiling jam, its real problem is that, lacking any obvious tannic structure, it is perhaps a little too soft for its own good.’
    • ‘This luminescent Italian rose has a sweetness on the nose and delicate spice on the palate that begs for a mouthful of chilled raspberries and a touch of vanilla ice-cream.’
  • 2North American informal Precisely.

    ‘at ten on the nose the van pulled up’
    • ‘Then Vladimir showed at the restaurant promptly at seven on the nose.’
    • ‘They made it to school by 8:05 on the nose, thanks to Leo's inability to follow state law and stay within the speed limit.’
    exactly, precisely, sharp, on the dot
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  • 3Australian, New Zealand informal Distasteful or offensive.

    • ‘The quarantine watchdog has been on the nose with many in the agriculture industry over a string of decisions, which has seen some loosening up of restrictions on overseas imports.’
    • ‘Back in 2000 when this was conceived, director retirement payments were already on the nose and companies like Lend Lease had moved to phase them out.’
    • ‘This is administratively easier, but its a bit on the nose to ask someone who might have joined in April to sign up again - unless I have misunderstood this.’
    • ‘Daphne, Fred, Velma are on the nose as far as the town is concerned and the team have to not only restore the community's faith in them but also to save the day.’
    • ‘It would be exceedingly on the nose but it might enable me to go to Wellington on the cheap.’
    unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, distasteful, displeasing, objectionable, off-putting, uninviting, awful, terrible, dreadful, frightful, obnoxious, abominable, disgusting, repulsive, repellent, repugnant, revolting, abhorrent, loathsome, hateful, detestable, execrable, odious, vile, foul, unsavoury, unpalatable, sickening, nauseating, nauseous, ugly, unsightly
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  • 4informal (of a bet) on a horse to win (as opposed to being placed)

    ‘Caesar's Revenge in the three-thirty, Pat. On the nose’
    • ‘But Harlan's also just put the money on the nose of a dead-cert racing tip that, true to form, came in second.’
    • ‘Junior minister Jim McDaid is not a member of the cabinet any more, but last year he had one successful 20-1 shot, with €50 on the nose.’