- to smile, laugh, or contort the face in a manner that shows scorn or contempt: They sneered at his pretensions.
- to speak or write in a manner expressive of derision or scorn.
- to utter or say in a sneering manner.
- a look or expression of derision, scorn, or contempt.
- a derisive or scornful utterance, especially one more or less covert or insinuative.
- an act of sneering.
Origin of sneer
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sneer
He observes the bodies floating away on the river, pulling on his cigarette with a sneer.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
The Internet might sneer at Monarch, but all press is good press, after all.Porn Company Wants Amanda Knox To Star In Adult Entertainment Film
February 12, 2014
The serious magazines felt similarly behooved to weigh in, also largely to sneer.‘You’ve Got to Be Kidding’: Why Adults Dismissed The Beatles in 1964
January 30, 2014
So when they tumble off, the fact that we cheer and sneer is awful, hypocritical, and deeply, sometimes savagely unkind.Justin Bieber's Spiritual Crisis
January 26, 2014
No liberal stereotype, from Birkenstocks to the French, vegans, and NPR, is too tired to sneer at.Sarah Palin Serves Up a Healthy Serving of Venom in Her Christmas Book
November 16, 2013
"You have found a new business, I see," he said, with a sneer.Brave and Bold
She had completed the verse with the hint of a sneer in her tones.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
And sneer'd at just fraternity, and the equal rights of man.
He made an effort to shake off the feeling, and spoke with a sneer.Within the Law
You ought not thus to sneer at physic, and make me lose my precious time.
- a facial expression of scorn or contempt, typically with the upper lip curled
- a scornful or contemptuous remark or utterance
- (intr) to assume a facial expression of scorn or contempt
- to say or utter (something) in a scornful or contemptuous manner
Word Origin and History for sneer
1550s, "to snort" (of horses), perhaps from North Frisian sneere "to scorn," related to Old English fnæran "to snort, gnash one's teeth," of imitative origin (cf. Danish snærre "to grin like a dog," Middle Dutch, Middle High German snarren "to rattle"). Meaning "to smile contemptuously" is from 1670s; sense of "to curl the upper lip in scorn" is attested from 1775. Related: Sneered; sneering. Sneer word is in E. Digby Baltzell (1987).
1707, from sneer (v.).