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leer1

[leer] /lɪər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to look with a sideways or oblique glance, especially suggestive of lascivious interest or sly and malicious intention:
I can't concentrate with you leering at me.
noun
2.
a lascivious or sly look.
Origin of leer1
1520-1530
1520-30; perhaps v. use of obsolete leer cheek (Middle English leor, Old English hlēor; cognate with Old Norse hlȳr (plural))
Related forms
leeringly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for leering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His fist shot out, caught the leering guard flush on his chin.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • He turned his back after leering terribly as he looked at Gervaise.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • He spun round in his amazement and met the leering face of Ayoub.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • I have stirred up ghosts of the past—leering ghosts, and I hate them.

    Possessed Cleveland Moffett
  • But now the brute came back, cautiously, crouching and leering.

  • Look how he keeps on licking his lips and leering at us now and then.

    In the Mahdi's Grasp George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for leering

leer

/lɪə/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to give an oblique, sneering, or suggestive look or grin
noun
2.
such a look
Derived Forms
leering, adjective, noun
leeringly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: perhaps verbal use of obsolete leer cheek, from Old English hlēor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leering

leer

n.

1590s, from leer (v).

leer

v.

"to look obliquely" (now usually implying "with a lustful or malicious intent"), 1520s, probably from Middle English noun ler "cheek," from Old English hleor "the cheek, the face," from Proto-Germanic *khleuzas "near the ear," from *kleuso- "ear," from PIE root *kleu- "to hear" (see listen). The notion is probably of "looking askance" (cf. figurative development of cheek). Related: Leered; leering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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