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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.
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British Dictionary definitions for sneaks

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
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Word Origin and History for sneaks
sneak
1560 (implied in sneakish), perhaps from some dial. survival of M.E. sniken "to creep, crawl," related to O.E. snican "to desire, reach for sneakily," from P.Gmc. *sneikanan, which is related to the root of snake (q.v.). The noun meaning "a sneaking person" is first recorded 1643. Sneak-thief first recorded 1859; sneak-preview is from 1938. Sneaky Pete "cheap liquor" is from 1949.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sneaks

sneakers

noun

Rubber-soled sports shoes: wearing a sweater, a shirt, short socks, and sneakers/ Anybody see my old sneaks?

[1895+; because one can usually move noiselessly in such footwear]


sneak

noun

(also sneak preview): After a sneak in Chicago they decided to shelve it

verb

To show a movie unexpectedly to an audience in order to assess its appeal: We sneaked it in several cities (1960s+ Movie studio)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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10
11
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