Definition of snivel
snivellingplay \ˈsni-və-liŋ, ˈsniv-liŋ\
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
snivelerplay \ˈsni-və-lər, ˈsniv-lər\ noun
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Examples of snivel in a Sentence
millionaires sniveling about their financial problems
“Woe is me,” she sniveled.
Recent Examples of snivel from the Web
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.
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.
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of snivel
Middle English, from Old English *snyflan; akin to Dutch snuffelen to snuffle, snuffen to sniff
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
First Known Use of snivel
SNIVEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of snivel for English Language Learners
: to complain or cry in an annoying way
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