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90s Slang You Should Know


[sneer] /snɪər/
verb (used without object)
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.
verb (used with object)
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
1545-55; orig., to snort; compare Frisian (N dial.) sneere scornful remark, snarl1
Related forms
sneerer, noun
sneerful, adjective
sneeringly, adverb
sneerless, adjective
subsneer, noun
unsneering, adjective
unsneeringly, adverb
2. gibe. See scoff1 . 5. scoff, gibe, jeer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sneeringly
Historical Examples
  • "That request is in perfect keeping with your conduct during the fight," returned Mr. Howe, sneeringly.

    Frank Before Vicksburg Harry Castlemon
  • "Oh, some people have faith in the fellow," said Mrs. Crawford sneeringly.

    The Hindered Hand Sutton E. Griggs
  • He then sneeringly asks, "Pray, sir, how long have you felt yourself so desperately disposed to admire the ladies of Germany?"

  • “Pretty objects you are making of yourselves, I must say,” he remarked, sneeringly.

  • "We have had no occasion to discuss that matter as yet," volunteered Hawes, sneeringly.

    Bob Hampton of Placer Randall Parrish
  • "Yes, go and try it on with my sister," resumed Virginie sneeringly.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • “I hope he has had a new vision, however,” said Francesco Cei, sneeringly.

    Romola George Eliot
  • The English sneeringly called Washington's army the "Homespuns."

    Home Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • "Your days will not be long enough to see it," replied Abdslem, sneeringly.

    The Arab's Pledge Edward L. Mitford
  • "Nice fools they'll make of themselves," he sneeringly replied.

British Dictionary definitions for sneeringly


a facial expression of scorn or contempt, typically with the upper lip curled
a scornful or contemptuous remark or utterance
(intransitive) to assume a facial expression of scorn or contempt
to say or utter (something) in a scornful or contemptuous manner
Derived Forms
sneerer, noun
sneerful, adjective
sneering, adjective, noun
sneeringly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Low Dutch; compare North Frisian sneere contempt
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 sneeringly



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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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