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sneer

[sneer] /snɪər/
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.
verb (used with object)
3.
to utter or say in a sneering manner.
noun
4.
a look or expression of derision, scorn, or contempt.
5.
a derisive or scornful utterance, especially one more or less covert or insinuative.
6.
an act of sneering.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; orig., to snort; compare Frisian (N dial.) sneere scornful remark, snarl1
Related forms
sneerer, noun
sneerful, adjective
sneeringly, adverb
sneerless, adjective
subsneer, noun
unsneering, adjective
unsneeringly, adverb
Synonyms
2. gibe. See scoff1 . 5. scoff, gibe, jeer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sneer
  • Private equity bigwigs used to sneer at the idea of investing in public companies.
  • Some sneer that there are no legal sanctions for non-compliance.
  • We not only sneer at, laugh at them, but destroy them.
  • Forget those polite merger and takeover discussions, with only an occasional arched eyebrow or sneer disturbing the peace.
  • But they sneer at your backward habits and treat you as an outsider.
  • Today you sneer at the need, because it's not you involved.
  • The dark look in his eyes, the sneer on his lips were unmistakable: blank hatred.
  • People sneer at you if your truck doesn't have a trailer hitch.
  • Only roadkill sits in the middle of the road, they sneer.
  • Intellectual, or supposedly intellectual, folks frequently sneer at the contemporary theatre.
British Dictionary definitions for sneer

sneer

/snɪə/
noun
1.
a facial expression of scorn or contempt, typically with the upper lip curled
2.
a scornful or contemptuous remark or utterance
verb
3.
(intransitive) to assume a facial expression of scorn or contempt
4.
to say or utter (something) in a scornful or contemptuous manner
Derived Forms
sneerer, noun
sneerful, adjective
sneering, adjective, noun
sneeringly, 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
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Word Origin and History for sneer
v.

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).

n.

1707, from sneer (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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