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snoop

[snoop]Informal.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to prowl or pry; go about in a sneaking, prying way.
noun
  1. an act or instance of snooping.
  2. a person who snoops.
  3. a private detective.

Origin of snoop

1825–35, Americanism; < Dutch snoepen to take and eat food on the sly
Related formssnoop·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for snoop

snoop

verb
  1. (intr; often foll by about or around) to pry into the private business of others
noun
  1. a person who pries into the business of others
  2. an act or instance of snooping
Derived Formssnoopy, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Dutch snoepen to eat furtively
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

Word Origin and History for snoop

v.

1832, "to go around in a prying manner," American English, probably from Dutch snoepen "to pry," also "eat in secret, eat sweets, sneak," probably related to snappen "to bite, snatch" (see snap (v.)). Specific meaning "to pry into other people's business" is attested from 1921. Related: Snooped; snooping.

n.

1891, "act of snooping," from snoop (v.). Meaning "one who snoops" is from 1929; meaning "detective" is from 1942. snooper "one who pries or peeps" is from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper