follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

sneak

[sneek] /snik/
verb (used without object), sneaked or snuck, sneaking.
1.
to go in a stealthy or furtive manner; slink; skulk.
2.
to act in a furtive or underhand way.
3.
British Informal. to tattle; inform.
verb (used with object), sneaked or snuck, sneaking.
4.
to move, put, pass, etc., in a stealthy or furtive manner:
He sneaked the gun into his pocket.
5.
to do, take, or enjoy hurriedly or surreptitiously:
to sneak a cigarette.
noun
6.
a sneaking, underhand, or contemptible person.
7.
Informal. a stealthy or furtive departure.
8.
British Informal. tattletale; informer.
9.
sneaker (def 1).
10.
Informal. a sneak preview.
11.
Cards. the lead of a singleton in a suit other than the trump suit, as in whist.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; variant of Middle English sniken, Old English snīcan to creep; cognate with Old Norse snīkja to hanker after
Synonyms
1. steal. See lurk.
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for sneak
  • sneak through a city and stealthily cut the throats of your political enemies.
  • In that case, wait until they slip into a tryptophan-induced coma and then sneak into the den.
  • They now needed to sneak a club trick to make the contract.
  • Then allow the reader a sneak peek of what's to come.
  • Set your alarms early for the next few days to sneak a peek at a stargazing spectacle.
  • There are all kinds of places you can sneak it something edible.
  • Get a sneak peek at the first show of the final season.
  • The executive sneak play appeared to have been coordinated at high levels.
  • However businesses are optimistic that a more limited change, specific to the clothing industry, may sneak through.
  • Visit your local zoo and you may get a sneak peak at the social behavior of prairie dogs.
British Dictionary definitions for sneak

sneak

/sniːk/
verb
1.
(intransitive; often foll by along, off, in, etc) to move furtively
2.
(intransitive) to behave in a cowardly or underhand manner
3.
(transitive) to bring, take, or put stealthily
4.
(intransitive) (informal, mainly Brit) to tell tales (esp in schools)
5.
(transitive) (informal) to steal
6.
(intransitive; foll by off, out, away, etc) (informal) to leave unobtrusively
noun
7.
a person who acts in an underhand or cowardly manner, esp as an informer
8.
  1. a stealthy act or movement
  2. (as modifier): a sneak attack
9.
(Brit, informal) an unobtrusive departure
Derived Forms
sneaky, adjective
sneakily, adverb
sneakiness, noun
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sneak
v.

1550s (implied in sneakish), perhaps from some dialectal survival of Middle English sniken "to creep, crawl" (c.1200), related to Old English snican "to sneak along, creep, crawl," from Proto-Germanic *sneikanan, which is related to the root of snake (n.). Of feelings, suspicions, etc., from 1748. Transitive sense, "to partake of surreptitiously" is from 1883. Related: Sneaking. Sneak-thief first recorded 1859; sneak-preview is from 1938.

n.

"a sneaking person; mean, contemptible fellow," 1640s, from sneak (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for sneak

snazz something up

verb phrase

To make something smarter and more elegant; enhance; gussy up: and snazzes them up with applique´s/ Install a new loo, or snazz up your current water closet (1970s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sneak

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sneak

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with sneak

Nearby words for sneak