verb \ˈsnēk\

: 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

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

Full Definition of SNEAK

intransitive verb
:  to go stealthily or furtively :  slink <snuck out early>
:  to act in or as if in a furtive manner
:  to carry the football on a quarterback sneak
transitive verb
:  to put, bring, or take in a furtive or artful manner <sneak a smoke>
sneak up on
:  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

Related to SNEAK

lurk, mooch, mouse, pussyfoot, shirk, skulk, slide, slink, slip, snake, steal
See Synonym Discussion at lurk



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

Full Definition of SNEAK

:  a person who acts in a stealthy, furtive, or shifty manner
a :  a stealthy or furtive move
b :  an unobserved departure or escape
:  sneaker 2 —usually used in plural

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.

First Known Use of SNEAK

circa 1643



: done while others are not paying attention

Full Definition of SNEAK

:  carried on secretly :  clandestine
:  occurring without warning :  surprise <a sneak attack>

Examples of SNEAK

  1. <a sneak attack on the nation's capitol>

First Known Use of SNEAK

circa 1859


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