sneaking

[ snee-king ]
/ ˈsni kɪŋ /

adjective

acting in a furtive or underhand way.
deceitfully underhand, as actions; contemptible.
secret; not generally avowed, as a feeling, notion, suspicion, etc.

Nearby words

  1. sneak thief,
  2. sneaker,
  3. sneakerhead,
  4. sneakernet,
  5. sneakers,
  6. sneakingly,
  7. sneaky,
  8. sneaky pete,
  9. sneck,
  10. sneer

Origin of sneaking

First recorded in 1575–85; sneak + -ing2

Related formssneak·ing·ly, adverbsneak·ing·ness, nounun·sneak·ing, adjective

sneak

[ sneek ]
/ snik /

verb (used without object), sneaked or snuck, sneak·ing.

verb (used with object), sneaked or snuck, sneak·ing.

to move, put, pass, etc., in a stealthy or furtive manner: He sneaked the gun into his pocket.
to do, take, or enjoy hurriedly or surreptitiously: to sneak a cigarette.

noun

Origin of sneak

1590–1600; variant of Middle English sniken, Old English snīcan to creep; cognate with Old Norse snīkja to hanker after

Usage note

First recorded in writing toward the end of the 19th century in the United States, snuck has become in recent decades a standard variant past tense and past participle of the verb sneak : Bored by the lecture, he snuck out the side door. Snuck occurs frequently in fiction and in journalistic writing as well as on radio and television: In the darkness the sloop had snuck around the headland, out of firing range. It is not so common in highly formal or belletristic writing, where sneaked is more likely to occur. Snuck is the only spoken past tense and past participle for many younger and middle-aged persons of all educational levels in the U. S. and Canada. Snuck has occasionally been considered nonstandard, but it is so widely used by professional writers and educated speakers that it can no longer be so regarded.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sneaking


British Dictionary definitions for sneaking

sneaking

/ (ˈsniːkɪŋ) /

adjective

acting in a furtive or cowardly way
secreta sneaking desire to marry a millionaire
slight but nagging (esp in the phrase a sneaking suspicion)
Derived Formssneakingly, adverbsneakingness, noun

sneak

/ (sniːk) /

verb

noun

Derived Formssneaky, adjectivesneakily, adverbsneakiness, noun

Word Origin for sneak

Old English snīcan to creep; from Old Norse snīkja to hanker after

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 sneaking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper