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snivel

[sniv-uh l] /ˈsnɪv əl/
verb (used without object), sniveled, sniveling or (especially British) snivelled, snivelling.
1.
to weep or cry with sniffling.
2.
to affect a tearful state; whine.
3.
to run at the nose; have a runny nose:
She sniveled from the cold.
4.
to draw up mucus audibly through the nose:
Stop sniveling and use your handkerchief.
verb (used with object), sniveled, sniveling or (especially British) snivelled, snivelling.
5.
to utter with sniveling or sniffling.
noun
6.
weak, whining, or pretended weeping.
7.
a light sniffle, as in weeping.
8.
a hypocritical show of feeling:
a sentimental snivel.
9.
mucus running from the nose.
10.
snivels, a sniveling condition; a slight cold; sniffles (usually preceded by the).
Origin of snivel
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English snyvele; compare Old English snyflung (gerund), derivative of snofl mucus; cognate with Low German snüfeln
Related forms
sniveler; especially British, sniveller, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for snivel
Historical Examples
  • This done, Mr. snivel draws from his pocket a copy of the forged papers, which are examined, and approved by every one present.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • When the blows fell, he held his breath, but he did not snivel.

  • Why, I would maroon any of my crew who would cry and grovel and snivel when tied up for his three dozen.

    The Lady of Lynn Walter Besant
  • When the blows fell, he held his breath, but did not snivel.

    Winning His Way Charles Carleton Coffin
  • Mr. snivel points George to a table, at which he is soon seated.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • I am so glad—But (Mr. snivel interrupts himself) never mind that!

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel concludes hurriedly, and departs into the street, as our scene changes.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel perceives her agitation, and begs she will remain calm.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel will call this, the sublime quality of our chivalry.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Mr. snivel frets his fingers through his beard, and bows with an easy grace.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
British Dictionary definitions for snivel

snivel

/ˈsnɪvəl/
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
1.
(intransitive) to sniffle as a sign of distress, esp contemptibly
2.
to utter (something) tearfully; whine
3.
(intransitive) to have a runny nose
noun
4.
an instance of snivelling
Derived Forms
sniveller, noun
snivelling, adjective, noun
snivelly, adjective
Word Origin
C14 snivelen; related to Old English snyflung mucus, Dutch snuffelen to smell out, Old Norse snoppa snout
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 snivel
v.

Old English *snyflan "to run at the nose" (cf. snyflung "running of the nose"), related to snofl "nasal mucus;" see snout. Meaning "to be in an (affected) tearful state" is from 1680s. Related: Snivelled; snivelling. As a noun from 14c. Melville coined snivelization (1849). Middle English had contemptuous term snivelard (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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