\ ˈsnir How to pronounce sneer (audio) \
sneered; sneering; sneers

Definition of sneer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of sneer (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from sneer


sneerer noun

Synonyms for sneer

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of sneer in a Sentence

Verb “You obviously don't know what you're talking about,” she sneered. in high school the in crowd would invariably sneer every time they passed the hapless nerds Noun She looked at me with a sneer of disgust. “They're paranoid,” he said with a sneer. The novel elicited sneers from the critics.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The only difference is that the unobtrusive stagehands don’t sneer. The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird would sneer down at Pierce every day. Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Some folks sneer at Fleetwood Mac, especially after Nicks and Buckingham joined the band. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 9 Mar. 2022 The brand is a lightning rod for people who sneer at the luxury equipment — prices start at $1,495 — and lampoon its exercise classes. Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2022 This voluntary month of sobriety has become a cultural bomb -- some praise its money-saving, weight-losing ways; others sneer at its braggy participants. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 19 Jan. 2022 There is no chance in the world that the people who have helped her, who obviously know her situation, will sneer at receiving thanks that is not handwritten by her. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 Lava-red splashes oozed across the screens as Collins dug into his theatrical leanings to sneer and grimace through the lyrics, punctuating them with the song's trademark reptilian cackle. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 20 Nov. 2021 Nordic Valley now has a high-speed six-pack accessing some more challenging terrain, Brian Head is nothing to sneer at and those who buy early get a bonus day at Sundance. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Marlon Brando was a trendsetter with his getup in 1953'sThe Wild One, which undoubtedly remains standard rebel garb, being black leather with a sneer. Tim Moffatt,, 6 July 2022 Backed by the potent Blackhearts, as well as stalwart manager/producer Kenny Laguna in his usual residence behind the keyboards, Jett delivered her songs with ferocity balanced by cool, a smile mixed with a sneer. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 23 June 2022 Porkalob’s Edward Rutledge sings with a defiant sneer, as a curtain on the Loeb Drama Center stage parts to reveal rum barrels stacked four high. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 15 June 2022 Her Boleyn—the king's second wife who was, as we're constantly reminded, beheaded in 1536—takes cues from early 2000s sneer pop reminiscent of Avril, Miley, and Lily Allen. Perrie Samotin, Glamour, 28 May 2022 People of good will shouldn’t pretend that a sneer is a smile. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 But between the adenoidal sneer of his voice and the class-conscious bite of his lyrics, Elvis Costello managed to meet the moment in 1977 as punk rock was sweeping through London and making the old guard irrelevant. Al Shipley, SPIN, 30 Jan. 2022 The latest attempt to rattle the foundations of cosmology appeared as a smattering of dots pulled upward into a cosmic sneer. Quanta Magazine, 13 Dec. 2021 Clement cuts an impressive figure in his papal robes, but his hooded eyes slide evasively to the side, and the expression on his lips seems close to a sneer. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 See More

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


1680, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sneer


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

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Cite this Entry

“Sneer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sneer


\ ˈsnir How to pronounce sneer (audio) \
sneered; sneering

Kids Definition of sneer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Kids Definition of sneer (Entry 2 of 2)

: a disrespectful expression or remark

More from Merriam-Webster on sneer

Nglish: Translation of sneer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sneer for Arabic Speakers


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