snivel

verb
sniv·​el | \ˈsni-vəl \
sniveled or snivelled; sniveling or snivelling\ˈsni-​və-​liŋ, ˈsniv-​liŋ \

Definition of snivel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to run at the nose

2 : to snuff mucus up the nose audibly : snuffle

3 : to cry or whine with snuffling

4 : to speak or act in a whining, sniffling, tearful, or weakly emotional manner

snivel

noun

Definition of snivel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 snivels plural, dialect : head cold

2 : an act of sniveling

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Other Words from snivel

Verb

sniveler \ˈsni-​və-​lər, ˈsniv-​lər \ noun

Did You Know?

Verb

There's never been anything pretty about sniveling. Snivel, which originally meant simply "to have a runny nose," was probably snyflan in Old English. It's likely related to sniffle, not surprisingly, and also to an Old English word for mucus, snofl. It's even related to the Middle Dutch word for a cold, snof, and the Old Norse word for snout, which is snoppa. There's also a connection to nan, a Greek verb meaning "flow." Nowadays, we mostly use snivel, as we have since the 1600s, to refer to self-pitying whining, whether or not such sniveling is accompanied by unchecked nasal flow.

Examples of snivel in a Sentence

Verb

millionaires sniveling about their financial problems “Woe is me,” she sniveled.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Its a shame that England's first ever World Cup title had this pathetic, snivelling creature associated with it, and it could be said that the Three Lions' failings at international level ever since lie solely at the feet of World Cup Willie. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 3 Days to Go - Ranking Every World Cup Mascot by How 'Hard' They Are," 11 June 2018 And dim Jim is somewhat of the sniveling little schnauzer of the White House press corps. Fox News, "Nunes and Meadows call for release of FBI text messages," 25 Apr. 2018 Those sniveling toads are too afraid of losing the electoral support of Trump and his minions. GQ, "ESPN Fed Jemele Hill to the Wolves," 11 Oct. 2017 Meanwhile, standup white cop Denny Rakestraw must deal with a sniveling brother-in-law Klansman and a racist wife. Lloyd Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "Attica Locke's 'Bluebird, Bluebird' soars, plus more crime fiction reviews," 25 Sep. 2017 On Sunday we were reintroduced to the Hilltop, a place of relative plenty — including lots of food, an obstetrician and apparently a big ol’ tractor — overseen by a sniveling degenerate named Gregory. Jeremy Egner, New York Times, "‘The Walking Dead’ Season 7, Episode 5: Maggie Takes Charge," 20 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snivel.' 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 snivel

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for snivel

Verb

Middle English, from Old English *snyflan; akin to Dutch snuffelen to snuffle, snuffen to sniff

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Dictionary Entries near snivel

snite

snithe

snitty

snivel

snively

SNLR

SNO

Statistics for snivel

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Time Traveler for snivel

The first known use of snivel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for snivel

snivel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of snivel

: to complain or cry in an annoying way

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More from Merriam-Webster on snivel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snivel

Spanish Central: Translation of snivel

Nglish: Translation of snivel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snivel for Arabic Speakers

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