1

fleer

play
verb \ˈflir\

Definition of fleer

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to laugh or grimace in a coarse derisive manner :  sneer

fleeringly

play \ˈflir-iŋ-lē\ adverb

fleer was our Word of the Day on 08/27/2014. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of fleer

Middle English fleryen, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian flire to giggle

Synonym Discussion of fleer

scoff, jeer, gibe, fleer, sneer, flout mean to show one's contempt in derision or mockery. scoff stresses insolence, disrespect, or incredulity as motivating the derision. scoffed at their concerns jeer suggests a coarser more undiscriminating derision. the crowd jeered at the prisoners gibe implies taunting either good-naturedly or in sarcastic derision. hooted and gibed at the umpire fleer suggests grinning or grimacing derisively. the saucy jackanapes fleered at my credulity sneer stresses insulting by contemptuous facial expression, phrasing, or tone of voice. sneered at anything romantic flout stresses contempt shown by refusal to heed. flouted the conventions of polite society

2

fleer

noun

Definition of fleer

archaic

  1. :  a word or look of derision or mockery

Recent Examples of fleer from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fleer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Fleer first appeared in English as a verb (fleryen in Middle English) meaning "to laugh, grin, or grimace in a coarse manner." The verb is of Scandinavian origin and is akin to the Norwegian flire, meaning "to giggle." The noun fleer first and most famously appeared in William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello, in which the evil Iago invites Othello to observe the signs of his wife's unfaithfulness in the visage of her supposed lover, Cassio: "And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns / That dwell in every region of his face…."

First Known Use of fleer

1604

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to plunder or ravage

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