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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sneeringly
Historical Examples
  • Some one remarked it, and observed, sneeringly, that "he was meditating."

  • "Yes, go and try it on with my sister," resumed Virginie sneeringly.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • “Because I was lucky like you say, I suppose,” sneeringly answered Percy.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • “I thought you were going to return the money,” Sautee said sneeringly.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • "You fancy that the whole world is like the ring at Ascot," said Beecher, sneeringly.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • "It may be the only one you will be disposed to ask for," said Linton, sneeringly.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • "And see if the river was where it was yesterday," broke she in, sneeringly.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • "A pity you cannot recollect your Christianity on other occasions," says he, sneeringly.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • The English sneeringly called Washington's army the "Homespuns."

    Home Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • “I hope he has had a new vision, however,” said Francesco Cei, sneeringly.

    Romola George Eliot
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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