sneak

verb
\ ˈsnēk How to pronounce sneak (audio) \
sneaked\ ˈsnēkt How to pronounce sneaked (audio) \ or snuck\ ˈsnək How to pronounce snuck (audio) \; sneaking

Definition of sneak

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

sneak

noun

Definition of sneak (Entry 2 of 3)

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

sneak

adjective

Definition of sneak (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : carried on secretly : clandestine
2 : occurring without warning : surprise a sneak attack

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Choose the Right Synonym for sneak

Verb

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

Sneaked vs. Snuck: Usage Guide

Verb

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 U.S. and Canada but has also been spotted in British and Australian English.

Examples of sneak in a Sentence

Verb

They tried to sneak into the movie without paying. She sneaked some cigars through customs. He snuck a few cookies out of the jar while his mother wasn't looking. They caught him trying to sneak food into the theater. Can I sneak a peek at your quiz answers?

Noun

What a rotten sneak! I should have known not to trust her. He ran a sneak up the middle for a touchdown.

Adjective

a sneak attack on the nation's capitol
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The number of people arrested for crossing illegally has plunged in the last decade and is near its lowest level since the mid-1990s, illustrating a substantial downward trend in the number of migrants trying to sneak in. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s speech exaggerates border peril," 6 Feb. 2019 Trying to sneak a ball by Kerber is something akin to trying to put one past a brick wall. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Angelique Kerber outplays Serena Williams, wins her first Wimbledon title," 14 July 2018 This is not the first time someone has tried to sneak a snake onto a flight. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Officers stop hidden snake from getting on plane," 10 July 2018 Vita and her brother would also play cards on the stairs going up to the roof and try to sneak into the 5 cent movies as often as possible. courant.com, "Vita Gray," 10 July 2018 The risky short targeted its rival by featuring a Coke delivery man trying to sneak a bottle of Pepsi out of a store cooler. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Are these the best Super Bowl ads of all time?," 10 July 2018 But DiCiccio also claimed that Stanton and the City Manager's Office were lying for months and trying to sneak in the tax increase through the budget process. Philip Athey, azcentral, "Did Phoenix leaders raise property taxes and lie about it?," 9 July 2018 Vardakostas started working the grill, sneaking free food to friends from his private middle school between shifts. Lauren Smiley, WIRED, "The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot," 21 June 2018 They were further stymied by metal accordion gates, firmly locked to keep those in upper levels from sneaking down to pricier seats during intermissions. Francine Uenuma, Smithsonian, "The Iroquois Theater Disaster Killed Hundreds and Changed Fire Safety Forever," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Weiss gave her Instagram followers a sneak peek inside the event, and there were hundreds of beautiful pink flowers at the venue. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Sang "Happy Birthday" to Diana Ross at Her 75th Birthday Party," 28 Mar. 2019 In an Instagram post, the designer revealed a sneak peek of a few handmade pillows she's designed with Loloi Rugs. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Joanna Gaines Has a Pillow Collection in the Works, and I Want Them All," 4 Mar. 2019 Mattel gave their first sneak peek at the BTS dolls earlier this week, beginning with a tweet on Tuesday, March 19 that featured a close-up shot of the doll version of RM and his iconic dimple in his left cheek. Allie Gemmill, Allure, "BTS's RM Mattel Doll Features RM's Iconic Dimple," 21 Mar. 2019 Today, Netflix blessed us with an intense, nearly three-minute-long sneak peek of the hit sci-fi series, teasing Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her crew, gigantic demogorgons, and some adorable teenage hijinks. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Stranger Things Season 3 Trailer Is Finally Here and I Am Not Okay," 20 Mar. 2019 Read on to learn more—and see a sneak peek of the spring collection. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Here's How to Do Glam Interiors Right," 11 Mar. 2019 Many South Koreans still harbor deep anger over the North's 1950 sneak attack that started a war that killed and injured millions. Kim Tong-hyung, Fox News, "A Kim Jong Un visit to Seoul? It would be surreal challenge," 20 Sep. 2018 The two countries fought a bloody three-year war five years later after a North Korean sneak attack. Hyung-jin Kim, The Seattle Times, "South Korean president heads to North for summit with Kim," 17 Sep. 2018 Bae will def appreciate the sneak-attack smooch: Facing each other on the bus? Bernadette Anat, Seventeen, "How to Kiss: 20 Secrets Good Kissers Know," 2 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Get Ready: Katy Perry Has Released a Sneak Peek of Her New Song And the internet has receipts. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "Get Ready: Katy Perry Has Released a Sneak Peek of Her New Song," 15 Mar. 2017

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

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First Known Use of sneak

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sneak

Verb

akin to Old English snīcan to sneak along, Old Norse snīkja

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Dictionary Entries near sneak

snd

SND

Snead

sneak

sneak boat

sneak box

sneak-cup

Statistics for sneak

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sneak

The first known use of sneak was in 1594

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More Definitions for sneak

sneak

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sneak

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to move quietly and secretly in order to avoid being noticed
: to take or bring (something) secretly and often quickly
British, old-fashioned : to tell someone (such as a parent or teacher) about something wrong that someone else has done

sneak

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sneak (Entry 2 of 3)

US, informal : a person who acts in a secret and usually dishonest way

sneak

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sneak (Entry 3 of 3)

: done while others are not paying attention

sneak

verb
\ ˈsnēk How to pronounce sneak (audio) \
sneaked\ ˈsnēkt \ or snuck\ ˈsnək \; sneaking

Kids Definition of sneak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

sneak

noun

Kids Definition of sneak (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who acts in a sly or secret way

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More from Merriam-Webster on sneak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sneak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sneak

Spanish Central: Translation of sneak

Nglish: Translation of sneak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sneak for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sneak

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