Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sneeze

[sneez]
See more synonyms for sneeze on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), sneezed, sneez·ing.
  1. to emit air or breath suddenly, forcibly, and audibly through the nose and mouth by involuntary, spasmodic action.
Show More
noun
  1. an act or sound of sneezing.
Show More
Verb Phrases
  1. sneeze at, Informal. to treat with contempt; scorn: $50,000 is nothing to sneeze at.
Show More

Origin of sneeze

1485–95; earlier snese; replacing Middle English fnese, Old English fnēosan; cognate with Dutch fniezen, Old Norse fnȳsa
Related formssneeze·less, adjectivesneez·er, nounsneez·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sneezy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "And I thought the model of Sneezy was awfully cute," she said.

    Occasion for Disaster

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • The powder grayed his poor clothes, puffing off in a sneezy cloud if anyone patted his back—no one ever did except John Kenny.

    Wilderness of Spring

    Edgar Pangborn

  • Mrs. Winderby might call and talk of this sneezy philosopher again, and I must know something about him.

    Dimbie and I--and Amelia

    Mabel Barnes-Grundy


British Dictionary definitions for sneezy

sneeze

verb
  1. (intr) to expel air and nasal secretions from the nose involuntarily, esp as the result of irritation of the nasal mucous membrane
Show More
noun
  1. the act or sound of sneezing
Show More
Derived Formssneezeless, adjectivesneezer, nounsneezy, adjective

Word Origin

Old English fnēosan (unattested); related to Old Norse fnӯsa, Middle High German fnūsen, Greek pneuma breath
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 sneezy

adj.

1800, from sneeze (n.) + -y (2).

Show More

sneeze

v.

late 15c., from Old English fneosan "to snort, sneeze," from Proto-Germanic *fneusanan (cf. Middle Dutch fniesen, Dutch fniezen "to sneeze;" Old Norse fnysa "to snort;" Old Norse hnjosa, Swedish nysa "to sneeze;" Old High German niosan, German niesen "to sneeze"), from Proto-Germanic base *fneu-s- "sneeze," of imitative origin, as is PIE *pneu- "to breathe" (cf. Greek pnein "to breathe").

Other imitative words for it, perhaps in various ways related to each other, include Latin sternuere (cf. Italian starnutare, French éternuer, Spanish estornudar), Breton strevia, Sanskrit ksu-, Lithuanian čiaudeti, Polish kichać, Russian čichat'.

English forms in sn- might be due to a misreading of the uncommon fn- (represented in only eight words in Clark Hall, mostly in words to do with breathing), or from Norse influence. OED suggests Middle English fnese had been reduced to simple nese by early 15c., and sneeze is a "strengthened form" of this, "assisted by its phonetic appropriateness." Related: Sneezed; sneezing. To sneeze at "to regard as of little value" (usually with negative) is attested from 1806.

Show More

sneeze

n.

"act of sneezing," 1640s, from sneeze (v.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sneezy in Medicine

sneeze

(snēz)
v.
  1. To expel air forcibly from the mouth and nose in an explosive, spasmodic involuntary action resulting chiefly from irritation of the nasal mucous membrane.
Show More
n.
  1. The act or an instance of sneezing.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.