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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 sniveling
Historical Examples
  • At the sight of them the lodge brother, the sniveling one who had followed me home in the snow, set up a veritable caterwauling.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • Come, come; don't go to sniveling; be a good girl, and mind the main chance.

    The Contrast Royall Tyler
  • From sobbing, Miss Winthrop dwindled to sniveling, and there she stopped.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • And that sniveling boy will give me no more of his infernal lip!

    Cursed George Allan England
  • I grabbed the sniveling little Ollie and held him between us with my hands around his neck.

    Backlash Winston Marks
  • It might do for some sniveling sycophant of learning and money, but he was going forth to—what?

    The Happy End Joseph Hergesheimer
  • He is only a peasant's sniveling cub, a mountaineer's orphan brat!

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • And when you speak of sniveling Puritans, speak of them that do snivel.

  • I have quite got over my old fancy for you, and your sniveling cannot warm over the old coals.

    Pretty Geraldine, the New York Salesgirl Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller
  • Her ratlike little face—soft voice like a purring, sniveling cat!

British Dictionary definitions for sniveling

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 sniveling

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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