1

sneer

verb \ ˈsnir \
Updated on: 18 Dec 2017

Definition of sneer

intransitive verb
1 : to smile or laugh with facial contortions that express scorn or contempt
2 : to speak or write in a scornfully jeering manner
transitive verb
: to utter with a sneer

sneerer

noun

Examples of sneer in a Sentence

  1. “You obviously don't know what you're talking about,” she sneered.

  2. in high school the in crowd would invariably sneer every time they passed the hapless nerds

Recent Examples of sneer from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of sneer

probably akin to Middle High German snerren to chatter, gossip — more at snore

Synonym Discussion of sneer

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

sneer

noun

Definition of sneer

: the act of sneering; also : a sneering expression or remark

Examples of sneer in a Sentence

  1. She looked at me with a sneer of disgust.

  2. “They're paranoid,” he said with a sneer.

  3. The novel elicited sneers from the critics.

Recent Examples of sneer from the Web

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

First Known Use of sneer

1707


SNEER Defined for English Language Learners

sneer

verb

Definition of sneer for English Language Learners

  • : to smile or laugh at someone or something with an expression on your face that shows dislike and a lack of respect

  • : to express dislike and a lack of respect for someone or something in a very open way


sneer

noun

Definition of sneer for English Language Learners

  • : an expression on a person's face that is like a smile but that shows dislike and a lack of respect for someone or something; also : a statement, criticism, etc., that shows dislike and a lack of respect


SNEER Defined for Kids

1

sneer

verb \ ˈsnir \

Definition of sneer for Students

sneered; sneering
1 : to smile or laugh while making a face that shows disrespect
2 : to speak or write in a disrespectful way
  • She was … careful not to seem to sneer at the rest of the islanders for their lack of education.
  • —Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved

2

sneer

noun

Definition of sneer for Students

: a disrespectful expression or remark


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