sneer

verb
\ 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

sneer

noun

Definition of sneer (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from sneer

Verb

sneerer noun

Synonyms for sneer

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for sneer

Verb

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The very conservative institution-building that Donald Trump and other right-wing populists sneer at is what gave us such instruments as the Federalist Society, which has trained up a generation of constitutionalist judges. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "A Small Second Amendment Victory," 16 Aug. 2020 Some readers may sneer at an income under $100,000. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: COVID-19 blew up my Life of Riley Index," 4 July 2020 They are either sneered at or ignored by current residents, who often prefer numbers. The Economist, "Dun Namin’ Why Britons’ house names reflect their class anxieties," 12 Mar. 2020 Pilot Bread, Spam and Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix might be sneered at by hipsters in other states, but in Alaska they are incorporated into meals, and often reworked into gourmet specialties. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "Book of food essays uncovers the soul of Alaska through its cuisine," 25 Apr. 2020 Capone ultimately grabs his Tommy gun for a hair-raising, sneering spray kill in the trailer's final moments. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Capone' first trailer: Tom Hardy's notorious gangster is diseased but deadly in Florida," 16 Apr. 2020 And as is usually the case, the justified outrage has been accompanied in certain corners by sneering condescension about the region’s population. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Sneering While the South Is Dying," 3 Apr. 2020 Compare this outlook to, say, SouthPark, which is forever sneering at the stupidity of people who dare try to make the world better. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Farmageddon movie review: Stop-motion sheep > CG hedgehog," 16 Feb. 2020 In a Big Ten that’s only seen seven road wins across its entire calendar so far, victories away from home — whatever their make and model — are not to be sneered at. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IU's road performance at Nebraska evidence of a team growing, moving forward," 19 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Over their first two albums in 2017 and 2018, Idles combined a vitriolic sneer with blunt social commentary, writing blistering songs about inclusivity, gender inequality, depression and toxic masculinity. Matt Hendrickson, New York Times, "Idles Are Throwing a Post-Punk Revolution, and Everyone’s Invited," 22 Sep. 2020 That sneer accompanied a complaint about past U.S. condemnations of China’s crackdown on Hong Kong, as Beijing seeks to tighten control over the former British colony and trading center in violation of international agreements. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "China and Russia use George Floyd unrest to make case against democracy," 3 June 2020 Over the two years since that episode, I have been subjected to sneers, head-shaking, and dirty looks (by his friends) and a nasty comment from their family member. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Husband’s blowup with neighbor results in 2 years of dirty looks, nasty comments," 2 June 2020 Over the two years since that episode, I have been subjected to sneers, head-shaking, and dirty looks (by his friends) and a nasty comment from their family member. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Neighbor’s remodel turns ugly," 2 June 2020 Recall, too, the media sneers at anyone who questioned the provenance of the warrants. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Cleaning Up After Comey," 23 Jan. 2020 His sexist wisecracks, wise-guy sneers, and salesman’s banter are as colorful as his assaultive obscenities. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "“The Loudest Voice” Eviscerates Roger Ailes and Fox News," 30 June 2019 Fellow cops, especially one played at a permanent sneer by Betty Gilpin, pepper him with crude jokes about his inability to measure up, as both a cop and a lover. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to stream (and skip) at home this weekend," 3 Apr. 2020 Gretchen Carlson, played by Naomi Watts, sneers and glares at Ailes’s condescending sexism. Lyz Lenz, The New Republic, "The Loudest Voice Stars AVery Simple Monster," 27 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of sneer

Verb

1680, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sneer

Verb

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

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Time Traveler for sneer

Time Traveler

The first known use of sneer was in 1680

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Statistics for sneer

Cite this Entry

“Sneer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sneer. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for sneer

sneer

verb
How to pronounce sneer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sneer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of sneer (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

verb
\ 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

sneer

noun

Kids Definition of sneer (Entry 2 of 2)

: a disrespectful expression or remark

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Comments on sneer

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