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snivel

[sniv-uh l]
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verb (used without object), sniv·eled, sniv·el·ing or (especially British) sniv·elled, sniv·el·ling.
  1. to weep or cry with sniffling.
  2. to affect a tearful state; whine.
  3. to run at the nose; have a runny nose: She sniveled from the cold.
  4. to draw up mucus audibly through the nose: Stop sniveling and use your handkerchief.
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verb (used with object), sniv·eled, sniv·el·ing or (especially British) sniv·elled, sniv·el·ling.
  1. to utter with sniveling or sniffling.
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noun
  1. weak, whining, or pretended weeping.
  2. a light sniffle, as in weeping.
  3. a hypocritical show of feeling: a sentimental snivel.
  4. mucus running from the nose.
  5. snivels, a sniveling condition; a slight cold; sniffles (usually preceded by the).
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Origin of snivel

1275–1325; Middle English snyvele; compare Old English snyflung (gerund), derivative of snofl mucus; cognate with Low German snüfeln
Related formssniv·el·er; especially British, sniv·el·ler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sniveling

gripe, whimper, whine, groan, shine, sob, sniff, blubber, weep, complain, fret, sniffle

Examples from the Web for sniveling

Historical Examples of sniveling

  • Come, come; don't go to sniveling; be a good girl, and mind the main chance.

    The Contrast

    Royall Tyler

  • Augustine went off, sobbing and sniveling, dragging her feet in the snow.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • From sobbing, Miss Winthrop dwindled to sniveling, and there she stopped.

    The Wall Street Girl

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • She did not care about him, so what was she sniveling about and making her nose all red?

    The Wall Street Girl

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • What care have we for monastery bells and sniveling priests!


British Dictionary definitions for sniveling

snivel

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled
  1. (intr) to sniffle as a sign of distress, esp contemptibly
  2. to utter (something) tearfully; whine
  3. (intr) to have a runny nose
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noun
  1. an instance of snivelling
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Derived Formssniveller, nounsnivelling, adjective, nounsnivelly, adjective

Word Origin for snivel

C14 snivelen; related to Old English snyflung mucus, Dutch snuffelen to smell out, Old Norse snoppa snout
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 sniveling

snivel

v.

Old English *snyflan "to run at the nose" (cf. snyflung "running of the nose"), related to snofl "nasal mucus;" see snout. Meaning "to be in an (affected) tearful state" is from 1680s. Related: Snivelled; snivelling. As a noun from 14c. Melville coined snivelization (1849). Middle English had contemptuous term snivelard (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper