usage note for snuck
Words nearby snuck
SNUCK VS. SNEAKED
What's the difference between snuck and sneaked?
Both snuck and sneaked are acceptable past tense forms of the verb sneak.
Historically, sneaked (which is older) has been the more widely accepted version, with snuck being considered nonstandard, but snuck has a long history of use and is now very common.
Sneaked uses the regular past tense ending -ed, while snuck is an irregular verb. Irregular verbs don’t follow a set pattern in the forms of their different tenses, as in take/took/taken and sing/sang/sung.
Sneaked is more commonly used (and often preferred) in more formal contexts (though the word sneak itself can sound a bit informal).
Here are examples of how snuck and sneaked can be used interchangeably.
Example with snuck: When I was a kid, I once snuck into a movie theater, but I got caught.
Example with sneaked: When I was a kid, I once sneaked into a movie theater, but I got caught.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between snuck and sneaked.
Quiz yourself on snuck vs. sneaked!
Would it be acceptable to use either snuck or sneaked in the following sentence?
He _____ back into the building to steal the documents.
How to use snuck in a sentence
I ordered a salad, ate it, and in the bathroom snuck a swig of Pepto.I Shot Bin Laden|Elliot Ackerman|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
War of the Worlds (1953) I snuck into a theatre with my older brother to see this one.Wes Craven's Favorite Scary Movies|Wes Craven|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Later on, in the recall phase, another set of similar objects ("lures") was snuck in.Repetition Doesn’t Work: Better Ways to Train Your Memory|Gregory Ferenstein|July 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It's a nice surprise, then, that Lizzy Caplan snuck into the Best Actress race for her performance on Showtime's Masters of Sex.The Enraging Emmy Nominations: 20 Snubs and Surprises|Kevin Fallon|July 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But while McCartney was sipping a brandy, Lennon snuck up behind the future Sir Paul and clocked him on the back of the head.The Man Who Captured the Beatles Magic|Chantel Tattoli|June 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
My dad ain't afraid of anything, so me and him both armed ourselves, and we snuck up to find out what had scared the hired girl.Chums of the Camp Fire|Lawrence J. Leslie
The Gophertown gent snuck up and tried to stick Billy up when Billy was readin' po'try—some of mine.Overland Red|Henry Herbert Knibbs
Before they left, the knight snuck outside, set his armor on the horse, and told it to ride back to the tower.FreeChildrenStories.com Collection|Daniel Errico
I snuck another look at him as I sped along the Disney back-roads, lined with sweaty Florida pines and immaculate purple signage.
The Mansion was full of little gimcracks and sly nods that snuck into your experience on each successive ride.