\ ˈlir How to pronounce leer (audio) \
leered; leering; leers

Definition of leer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to cast a sidelong glance especially : to give a leer Some female employees complained that they were being leered at by male employees.



Definition of leer (Entry 2 of 2)

: a lascivious, knowing, or wanton look

Other Words from leer


leeringly \ ˈlir-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce leer (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for leer

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of leer in a Sentence

Verb She complained that some disgusting man was leering at her. He gave her a leering look.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These details aren’t offered up as shocking twists, nailbiters dispensed to a public eager to leer and consume them. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 22 Aug. 2022 Adults would leer, staring pointedly at our food, though comments were mercifully rare. Your Fat Friend, SELF, 7 Aug. 2020 In another, a widow fends off a leering priest by tricking him into sleeping with her maid. Kathryn Mckinley, The Conversation, 16 Apr. 2020 And so the plot is that of a fantastical and miserable quest, like The Lord of the Rings or The Wizard of Oz, except the monsters are leering men and deceitful medical personnel and relentless, mind-bending legal hurdles. Kaitlin Menza, Marie Claire, 10 Apr. 2020 Chalk that up to a script that would rather leer at our current social predicaments than engage with them critically (i.e. in the way of all worthy satire). Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, 13 Mar. 2020 The camera cuts to a father figure leering at the couple with suspicion, and then to two girls sitting at the table who giggle knowingly. NBC News, 9 Jan. 2020 There are some physical frights, too: bumps in the night, clowns that leer at and chase teens, a zombie who tries to drag a girl into the water and plenty of jump scares, as well as the implication of people’s disappearances. Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2019 Sean was muscled, but not from the gym, and there was a defiant, leering gap in his grin, where one of his front teeth was missing. Tessa Hadley, The New Yorker, 21 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In his first narrative feature in 10 years, Andrew Dominik brings intoxicating visual style and a voyeuristic leer to Joyce Carol Oates’ 700-plus page biographical fiction novel of the same name. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2022 This holds truest for the relationship that eventually blossoms between Stede and the fearsome pirate warrior Blackbeard, played by Waititi with an impressive gray tangle of a beard and a leer that errs more curious than truly wicked. Caroline Framke, Variety, 3 Mar. 2022 Haz clic aquí para leer en español el perfil de Rosalía del número de enero de 2021 en Vogue. Julyssa Lopez, Vogue, 15 Dec. 2020 In quarantine, without the leer of strangers on the sidewalk, could fabulousness occur? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 10 June 2020 Most of Apple’s sketches are executed with a leer, suggesting distance. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 17 Apr. 2020 Aside from a brief flash of bared bum in the final scene, there is no full nudity here, and the show looks at its characters not with a leer but a rueful smile of compassion. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2020 Each feral snort and supercilious leer, each vaulted syllable of his chewy mitteleuropäisch accent, and each tremor of his predatory gestures plays to the intense concentration of Merhige’s pressing close-ups. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2019 For one long sequence, Hustlers loses its propriety and leers like the wolf in Looney Tunes. Ross Douthat, National Review, 26 Sep. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of leer


1530, in the meaning defined above


1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for leer

Verb and Noun

probably from obsolete leer cheek

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Last Updated

5 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Leer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leer. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for leer


\ ˈlir How to pronounce leer (audio) \
leered; leering

Kids Definition of leer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to look with an unpleasant, mean, or eager glance



Kids Definition of leer (Entry 2 of 2)

: an unpleasant, mean, or eager glance

More from Merriam-Webster on leer

Nglish: Translation of leer for Spanish Speakers


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