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
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of fleer
Definition of fleer
: a word or look of derision or mockery
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
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