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Origin of sneaker

First recorded in 1590–1600; sneak + -er1
Can be confusedsneaker snicker Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sneakers

cleat, shoe, footwear, sneak, footgear

Examples from the Web for sneakers

Contemporary Examples of sneakers

Historical Examples of sneakers

British Dictionary definitions for sneakers


pl n
  1. mainly US and Canadian canvas shoes with rubber soles worn for sports or informally
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 sneakers



1590s, "one who sneaks," agent noun from sneak (v.). Meaning "rubber-soled shoe" is attested from 1895, American English; earlier sneak (1862), so called because the shoe was noiseless. See also plimsoll.

The night-officer is generally accustomed to wear a species of India-rubber shoes or goloshes on her feet. These are termed 'sneaks' by the women [of Brixton Prison]. ["Female Life in Prison," 1862]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper