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Synonym Chooser

How is the word sneer distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of sneer are fleer, flout, gibe, jeer, and scoff. While all these words mean "to show one's contempt in derision or mockery," sneer stresses insulting by contemptuous facial expression, phrasing, or tone of voice.

sneered at anything romantic

When is it sensible to use fleer instead of sneer?

The meanings of fleer and sneer largely overlap; however, fleer suggests grinning or grimacing derisively.

the saucy jackanapes fleered at my credulity

When might flout be a better fit than sneer?

While the synonyms flout and sneer are close in meaning, flout stresses contempt shown by refusal to heed.

flouted the conventions of polite society

Where would gibe be a reasonable alternative to sneer?

The words gibe and sneer are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, gibe implies taunting either good-naturedly or in sarcastic derision.

hooted and gibed at the umpire

When could jeer be used to replace sneer?

The words jeer and sneer can be used in similar contexts, but jeer suggests a coarser more undiscriminating derision.

the crowd jeered at the prisoners

In what contexts can scoff take the place of sneer?

While in some cases nearly identical to sneer, scoff stresses insolence, disrespect, or incredulity as motivating the derision.

scoffed at their concerns

Thesaurus Entries Near sneer

Cite this Entry

“Sneer.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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