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nose around

Meaning: If someone is nosing around, they're looking around in order to find information about something.

Synonym: nose about (British), poke around (informal)

For example:

  • nose around sth Tax inspectors are nosing around our office and checking our accounts, looking for any mistakes or problems.

  • be nosing around Celebrities have to be careful about what they say or do in public. Reporters are always nosing around, hoping to get a sensational story about one of them.

Note: This phrasal verb has a negative connotation, and it implies that whoever is "nosing around" is not liked or respected much by those who they are trying to get information on.

Quick Quiz:

Some health inspectors came to our restaurant yesterday, and they were nosing around the kitchen looking for
  1. new recipes
  2. violations of health regulations
  3. something to eat

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