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verb \ˈsnēk\

Simple Definition of sneak

  • : to move quietly and secretly in order to avoid being noticed

  • : to take or bring (something) secretly and often quickly

  • : to tell someone (such as a parent or teacher) about something wrong that someone else has done

Full Definition of sneak

sneaked play \ˈsnēkt\ or snuck play \ˈsnək\ sneak·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to go stealthily or furtively :  slink <snuck out early>

  3. 2 :  to act in or as if in a furtive manner

  4. 3 :  to carry the football on a quarterback sneak

  5. transitive verb
  6. :  to put, bring, or take in a furtive or artful manner <sneak a smoke>

sneak up on
  1. :  to approach or act on stealthily

Usage Discussion of sneak

From its earliest appearance in print in the late 19th century as a dialectal and probably uneducated form, the past and past participle snuck has risen to the status of standard and to approximate equality with sneaked. It is most common in the United States and Canada but has also been spotted in British and Australian English.

Examples of sneak

  1. They tried to sneak into the movie without paying.

  2. She sneaked some cigars through customs.

  3. He snuck a few cookies out of the jar while his mother wasn't looking.

  4. They caught him trying to sneak food into the theater.

  5. Can I sneak a peek at your quiz answers?

Origin of sneak

akin to Old English snīcan to sneak along, Old Norse snīkja

First Known Use: 1594

Synonym Discussion of sneak

lurk, skulk, slink, sneak mean to behave so as to escape attention. lurk implies a lying in wait in a place of concealment and often suggests an evil intent <suspicious men lurking in alleyways>. skulk suggests more strongly cowardice or fear or sinister intent <something skulking in the shadows>. slink implies moving stealthily often merely to escape attention <slunk around the corner>. sneak may add an implication of entering or leaving a place or evading a difficulty by furtive or underhanded methods <sneaked out early>.




Simple Definition of sneak

  • : a person who acts in a secret and usually dishonest way

Full Definition of sneak

  1. 1 :  a person who acts in a stealthy, furtive, or shifty manner

  2. 2a :  a stealthy or furtive moveb :  an unobserved departure or escape

  3. 3 :  sneaker 2 —usually used in plural

  4. 4 :  quarterback sneak

Examples of sneak

  1. What a rotten sneak! I should have known not to trust her.

  2. He ran a sneak up the middle for a touchdown.

Circa 1643

First Known Use of sneak

circa 1643




Simple Definition of sneak

  • : done while others are not paying attention

Full Definition of sneak

  1. 1 :  carried on secretly :  clandestine

  2. 2 :  occurring without warning :  surprise <a sneak attack>

SNEAK Defined for Kids



verb \ˈsnēk\

Definition of sneak

sneaked \ˈsnēkt\ or snuck \ˈsnək\sneak·ing

  1. :  to move, act, bring, put, or take in a sly or secret way <Ina-Rae lifted her desktop to sneak peeks at her valentines … — Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder>




Definition of sneak

  1. :  a person who acts in a sly or secret way

Seen and Heard

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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