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snivel

[sniv-uh l] /ˈsnɪv əl/
verb (used without object), sniveled, sniveling or (especially British) snivelled, snivelling.
1.
to weep or cry with sniffling.
2.
to affect a tearful state; whine.
3.
to run at the nose; have a runny nose:
She sniveled from the cold.
4.
to draw up mucus audibly through the nose:
Stop sniveling and use your handkerchief.
verb (used with object), sniveled, sniveling or (especially British) snivelled, snivelling.
5.
to utter with sniveling or sniffling.
noun
6.
weak, whining, or pretended weeping.
7.
a light sniffle, as in weeping.
8.
a hypocritical show of feeling:
a sentimental snivel.
9.
mucus running from the nose.
10.
snivels, a sniveling condition; a slight cold; sniffles (usually preceded by the).
Origin of snivel
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English snyvele; compare Old English snyflung (gerund), derivative of snofl mucus; cognate with Low German snüfeln
Related forms
sniveler; especially British, sniveller, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for snivel
Historical Examples
  • When the blows fell, he held his breath, but he did not snivel.

  • When the blows fell, he held his breath, but did not snivel.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin
  • Mr. snivel has placed himself against it, begs she will be calm.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • I am so glad—But (Mr. snivel interrupts himself) never mind that!

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel perceives her agitation, and begs she will remain calm.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel frets his fingers through his beard, and bows with an easy grace.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel methodically says he got it of McArthur, the antiquary.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • "I think the mystery is nearly cleared up, Keepum" says snivel.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel makes a second attempt to overcome the unprotected girl.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel dashes the candle from her hand, and in the darkness grasps her wrists.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
British Dictionary definitions for snivel

snivel

/ˈsnɪvəl/
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
1.
(intransitive) to sniffle as a sign of distress, esp contemptibly
2.
to utter (something) tearfully; whine
3.
(intransitive) to have a runny nose
noun
4.
an instance of snivelling
Derived Forms
sniveller, noun
snivelling, adjective, noun
snivelly, adjective
Word Origin
C14 snivelen; related to Old English snyflung mucus, Dutch snuffelen to smell out, Old Norse snoppa snout
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 snivel
v.

Old English *snyflan "to run at the nose" (cf. snyflung "running of the nose"), related to snofl "nasal mucus;" see snout. Meaning "to be in an (affected) tearful state" is from 1680s. Related: Snivelled; snivelling. As a noun from 14c. Melville coined snivelization (1849). Middle English had contemptuous term snivelard (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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