sneak

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

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Silver sits on the ground next to Sterling and patiently waits for the infant to sneak her a treat. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 16 Nov. 2021 That continues to be the largest asset on the Ducks' postseason ledger, though Fresno State could sneak back into the playoff rankings after losses by Purdue and Auburn. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2021 The Chicago Bears led 27-26 with less than 2 minutes remaining Monday night at Heinz Field, needing one final stop to sneak out of Pittsburgh with a come-from-behind victory. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, 13 Nov. 2021 During their second, Fabbri used a screen to sneak the puck behind Laurent Broissoit, scoring off a setup by Suter. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 8 Nov. 2021 In a September briefing, Robinson attempted to sneak in a question after Psaki had signaled the end of the proceedings. Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2021 Those lead to your ground-ball singles that sneak through. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 30 Oct. 2021 The three acts will also perform at a Nov. 24, 2021 sneak peek preview concert at the Grog Shop. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, 26 Oct. 2021 That might open the door for Atlanta, Philadelphia or Washington to sneak in as a wild card. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 19 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Magic Continues — and offered a sneak-peek at the Christmas extravaganza set to premiere on Dec. 3. Daniela Avila, PEOPLE.com, 18 Nov. 2021 The winner’s magazine releases on December 5, 2021, but locals can get a sneak peek at the best vendors in the valley by attending the event itself on December 4. The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Nov. 2021 In my humble opinion, 2021 has only given mankind a sneak-peek into the vast possibilities of technological evolution within the fashion world. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 There's a sneak-peek Monday-Thursday before the rink resumes full operation on Saturday. Jordan Kellogg, The Enquirer, 1 Nov. 2021 Take a sneak peek inside Indoor restrooms, gas lighting, and central heat were unattainable for most other people during that period — as were many of the items on display in the Culbertsons’ formal parlor. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 29 Oct. 2021 The show's social media pages posted a sneak peek at Obama's appearance on Thursday. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, 28 Oct. 2021 Netflix released the new sneak peek at Cowboy Bebop Tuesday night during an online countdown event, wherein actors John Cho (Spike Spiegel), Daniella Pineda (Faye Valentine), and Mustafa Shakir (Jet Black) popped in to help hype the trailer. Nick Romano, EW.com, 26 Oct. 2021 Tune in for an exclusive sneak peek at Disney’s Jungle Cruise with your favorite skipper, Dwayne Johnson. Admin, Essence, 18 Oct. 2021 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, 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.

See More

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

Learn More About sneak

Dictionary Entries Near sneak

Snead

sneak

sneak boat

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sneak

Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sneak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sneak. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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
: 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)

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on sneak

Nglish: Translation of sneak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sneak for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!