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squin·​ny ˈskwi-nē How to pronounce squinny (audio)
squinnied; squinnying
: squint


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: squint
squinny adjective

Did you know?

"I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me?" So asks Shakespeare's mad King Lear of blind Gloucester, marking the first known use of the verb squinny. It is likely that Shakespeare formed the word from an earlier English word squin, meaning "with the eye directed to one side." Shakespeare also uses the more familiar squint in King Lear: "This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet.… He gives the web and the pin, / squints the eye … mildews the white wheat, / and hurts the poor creature of earth." Although this is not the first known use of the verb squint, it is the first known use of the verb's transitive sense.

Word History



perhaps from squin- (base of Middle English of skwyn "on a slant," askoyn, ascoign "askance") + -y, reduced form of eye entry 1 — more at squint entry 1


probably derivative of squinny entry 1

First Known Use


1605, in the meaning defined above


circa 1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of squinny was in 1605


Dictionary Entries Near squinny

Cite this Entry

“Squinny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squinny. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

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