early 15c, snorten, earlier fnorten (late 14c.), "breathe heavily, expel air through the nose with a harsh sound, make the sound of a horse," probably related to snore (v.) or like it imitative of the sound made. The sense of "express contempt" is from 1818. The meaning "inhale cocaine" is attested by 1935. Related: Snorted; snorting.
1808, "act of snorting," from snort (v.). Earlier in now obsolete sense of "a snore" (1610s). As an expression of contempt, by 1865. The U.S. slang meaning "a drink of liquor" (especially whiskey) is from 1889.
updated on February 12, 2023