Dictionary

1sneak

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
1
:  to go stealthily or furtively :  slink <snuck out early>
2
:  to act in or as if in a furtive manner
3
:  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.
ADVERTISEMENT

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>.

2sneak

noun

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

Full Definition of SNEAK

1
:  a person who acts in a stealthy, furtive, or shifty manner
2
a :  a stealthy or furtive move
b :  an unobserved departure or escape
3
:  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

3sneak

adjective

: done while others are not paying attention

Full Definition of SNEAK

1
:  carried on secretly :  clandestine
2
:  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
SNEAKS Defined for Kids

1sneak

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

Definition of SNEAK for Kids

:  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>

2sneak

noun

Definition of SNEAK for Kids

:  a person who acts in a sly or secret way

Browse

2 ENTRIES FOUND:
Next Word in the Dictionary: sneak boatPrevious Word in the Dictionary: SNDAll Words Near: sneak
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears