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See more synonyms for sneaker on Thesaurus.com
  1. a high or low shoe, usually of fabric such as canvas, with a rubber or synthetic sole.
  2. one who sneaks; a sneak.
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Origin of sneaker

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

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British Dictionary definitions for sneakers


pl n
  1. mainly US and Canadian canvas shoes with rubber soles worn for sports or informally
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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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper