sneak 1 of 3

1
as in to lurk
to move about in a sly or secret manner the little kids sneak around upstairs when they're supposed to be in bed

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2
as in to infiltrate
to introduce in a gradual, secret, or clever way sneak the topic into the conversation any way you can

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sneak

2 of 3

adjective

sneak

3 of 3

noun

as in weasel
someone who acts in a sly and secret manner "Why, you little sneak," the mother exclaimed, "you made my birthday present right under my nose!"

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How is the word sneak distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of sneak are lurk, skulk, and slink. While all these words mean "to behave so as to escape attention," sneak may add an implication of entering or leaving a place or evading a difficulty by furtive or underhanded methods.

sneaked out early

When could lurk be used to replace sneak?

The words lurk and sneak can be used in similar contexts, but lurk implies a lying in wait in a place of concealment and often suggests an evil intent.

suspicious men lurking in alleyways

When is skulk a more appropriate choice than sneak?

In some situations, the words skulk and sneak are roughly equivalent. However, skulk suggests more strongly cowardice or fear or sinister intent.

something skulking in the shadows

Where would slink be a reasonable alternative to sneak?

The meanings of slink and sneak largely overlap; however, slink implies moving stealthily often merely to escape attention.

slunk around the corner

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Cite this Entry

“Sneak.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/sneak. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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