sneeze at


verb (used without object), sneezed, sneezing.
to emit air or breath suddenly, forcibly, and audibly through the nose and mouth by involuntary, spasmodic action.
an act or sound of sneezing.
Verb phrases
sneeze at, Informal. to treat with contempt; scorn: $50,000 is nothing to sneeze at.

1485–95; earlier snese; replacing Middle English fnese, Old English fnēosan; cognate with Dutch fniezen, Old Norse fnȳsa

sneezeless, adjective
sneezer, noun
sneezy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sneeze (sniːz)
1.  (intr) to expel air and nasal secretions from the nose involuntarily, esp as the result of irritation of the nasal mucous membrane
2.  the act or sound of sneezing
[Old English fnēosan (unattested); related to Old Norse fnӯsa, Middle High German fnūsen, Greek pneuma breath]

sneeze at
informal (intr, prep.; usually with a negative) to dismiss lightly: his offer is not to be sneezed at

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. fneosan "to snort, sneeze," from P.Gmc. *fneusanan (cf. M.Du. fniesen, Du. fniezen "to sneeze;" O.N. fnysa "to snort;" O.N. hnjosa, Swed. nysa "to sneeze;" O.H.G. niosan, Ger. niesen "to sneeze"), from P.Gmc. base *fneu-s- "sneeze," of imitative origin, as is PIE *pneu- "to breathe" (cf. Gk. pnein
"to breathe"). Other imitative words for it, perhaps in various ways related to each other, include L. sternure (cf. It. starnutare, Fr. éternuer, Sp. estornudar), Bret. strevia, Skt. ksu-, Lith. čiaudeti, Pol. kichać, Rus. čichat'. Eng. forms in sn- appear 1490s; change may be due to a misreading of fn-, or from O.N. influence. But OED suggests M.E. fnese had been reduced to simple nese by early 15c., and sneeze is a "strengthened form" of this, "assisted by its phonetic appropriateness." The noun is first recorded 1646, from the verb. To sneeze at "to regard as of little value" (usually with negative) is attested from 1806.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sneeze (snēz)
v. sneezed, sneez·ing, sneez·es
To expel air forcibly from the mouth and nose in an explosive, spasmodic involuntary action resulting chiefly from irritation of the nasal mucous membrane. n.
The act or an instance of sneezing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sneeze at

see not to be sneezed at.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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