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sneeze

[sneez] /sniz/
verb (used without object), sneezed, sneezing.
1.
to emit air or breath suddenly, forcibly, and audibly through the nose and mouth by involuntary, spasmodic action.
noun
2.
an act or sound of sneezing.
Verb phrases
3.
sneeze at, Informal. to treat with contempt; scorn:
$50,000 is nothing to sneeze at.
Origin
1485-1495
1485-95; earlier snese; replacing Middle English fnese, Old English fnēosan; cognate with Dutch fniezen, Old Norse fnȳsa
Related forms
sneezeless, adjective
sneezer, noun
sneezy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sneezed at

sneeze

/sniːz/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to expel air and nasal secretions from the nose involuntarily, esp as the result of irritation of the nasal mucous membrane
noun
2.
the act or sound of sneezing
Derived Forms
sneezeless, adjective
sneezer, noun
sneezy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English fnēosan (unattested); related to Old Norse fnӯsa, Middle High German fnūsen, Greek pneuma breath
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 sneezed at

sneeze

v.

late 15c., from Old English fneosan "to snort, sneeze," from Proto-Germanic *fneusanan (cf. Middle Dutch fniesen, Dutch fniezen "to sneeze;" Old Norse fnysa "to snort;" Old Norse hnjosa, Swedish nysa "to sneeze;" Old High German niosan, German niesen "to sneeze"), from Proto-Germanic base *fneu-s- "sneeze," of imitative origin, as is PIE *pneu- "to breathe" (cf. Greek pnein "to breathe").

Other imitative words for it, perhaps in various ways related to each other, include Latin sternuere (cf. Italian starnutare, French éternuer, Spanish estornudar), Breton strevia, Sanskrit ksu-, Lithuanian čiaudeti, Polish kichać, Russian čichat'.

English forms in sn- might be due to a misreading of the uncommon fn- (represented in only eight words in Clark Hall, mostly in words to do with breathing), or from Norse influence. OED suggests Middle English fnese had been reduced to simple nese by early 15c., and sneeze is a "strengthened form" of this, "assisted by its phonetic appropriateness." Related: Sneezed; sneezing. To sneeze at "to regard as of little value" (usually with negative) is attested from 1806.

n.

"act of sneezing," 1640s, from sneeze (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sneezed at in Medicine

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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