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See more synonyms for sneer on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to smile, laugh, or contort the face in a manner that shows scorn or contempt: They sneered at his pretensions.
  2. to speak or write in a manner expressive of derision or scorn.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or say in a sneering manner.
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  1. a look or expression of derision, scorn, or contempt.
  2. a derisive or scornful utterance, especially one more or less covert or insinuative.
  3. an act of sneering.
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Origin of sneer

1545–55; orig., to snort; compare Frisian (N dial.) sneere scornful remark, snarl1
Related formssneer·er, nounsneer·ful, adjectivesneer·ing·ly, adverbsneer·less, adjectivesub·sneer, nounun·sneer·ing, adjectiveun·sneer·ing·ly, adverb


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2. gibe. See scoff1. 5. scoff, gibe, jeer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for sneeringly

Historical Examples

  • Some one remarked it, and observed, sneeringly, that "he was meditating."

    The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete

    Duc de Saint-Simon

  • "Yes, go and try it on with my sister," resumed Virginie sneeringly.


    Emile Zola

  • “Because I was lucky like you say, I suppose,” sneeringly answered Percy.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • “I thought you were going to return the money,” Sautee said sneeringly.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • "You fancy that the whole world is like the ring at Ascot," said Beecher, sneeringly.

British Dictionary definitions for sneeringly


  1. a facial expression of scorn or contempt, typically with the upper lip curled
  2. a scornful or contemptuous remark or utterance
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  1. (intr) to assume a facial expression of scorn or contempt
  2. to say or utter (something) in a scornful or contemptuous manner
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Derived Formssneerer, nounsneerful, adjectivesneering, adjective, nounsneeringly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from Low Dutch; compare North Frisian sneere contempt
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 sneeringly



1550s, "to snort" (of horses), perhaps from North Frisian sneere "to scorn," related to Old English fnæran "to snort, gnash one's teeth," of imitative origin (cf. Danish snærre "to grin like a dog," Middle Dutch, Middle High German snarren "to rattle"). Meaning "to smile contemptuously" is from 1670s; sense of "to curl the upper lip in scorn" is attested from 1775. Related: Sneered; sneering. Sneer word is in E. Digby Baltzell (1987).

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1707, from sneer (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper