sneak


sneak
sneak verb.
Its origins are shrouded in mystery (despite earlier similar forms in Old English and other Germanic languages) as it emerges fully clad in the works of English playwrights around 1600:

• A poor unminded outlaw, sneaking home —Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV, iv.iii.58, 1596.

In current use it is inflected regularly, with a past tense and past participle sneaked; the bizarre form snuck, which has no precedent in other verbs in -eak and -eek (creak, leak, peak, peek, reek, squeak, etc.) has insinuated itself into several varieties of English, including those of North America, (She must have snuck out in the night) but is not yet treated seriously in BrE. An odd word with an odd history, perhaps with further oddities to come.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sneak — sneak; sneak·er; sneak·i·ly; sneak·i·ness; sneak·ish; sneak·ing·ly; sneak·ing·ness; sneak·ish·ly; sneak·ish·ness; …   English syllables

  • Sneak — may refer to:*DJ Sneak, Puerto Rican DJ *Keak Da Sneak, rapper from Oakland, California *The Sneaks, band from New Zealand *Quarterback sneak, a term in American football *Sneakbox, type of small boat *Sneak magazine, British weekly magazine *The …   Wikipedia

  • Sneak — steht für: Sneak Preview, eine Art Vorpremiere eines Kinofilms Sneak ist der Name folgender Personen: DJ Sneak (* 1970, bürgerlich Carlos Sosa), puerto ricanischer House DJ und Produzent Keak da Sneak (* 1977, bürgerlich Charles Toby Bowens), ein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • sneak up on — [phrasal verb] sneak up on (someone) 1 : to approach (someone) quietly and secretly in order to avoid being noticed My father likes to sneak up on my mother and tickle her. Don t sneak up on me like that! 2 : to approach, happen, or develop… …   Useful english dictionary

  • sneak´i|ly — sneak|y «SNEE kee», adjective, sneak|i|er, sneak|i|est. cowardly, mean, or contemptible: »They dropped their eyes and looked sneaky (Mark Twain). –sneak´i|ly, adverb …   Useful english dictionary

  • sneak|y — «SNEE kee», adjective, sneak|i|er, sneak|i|est. cowardly, mean, or contemptible: »They dropped their eyes and looked sneaky (Mark Twain). –sneak´i|ly, adverb …   Useful english dictionary

  • sneak — [snēk] vi. ☆ sneaked or Informal snuck, sneaking [prob. < OE * snecan, akin to snican, to crawl: for IE base see SNAIL] 1. to move quietly and stealthily so as to avoid being seen or heard; go furtively 2. to be a sneak; behave in a stealthy,… …   English World dictionary

  • Sneak — (sn[=e]k), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Sneaked} (sn[=e]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Sneaking}.] [OE. sniken, AS. sn[=i]can to creep; akin to Dan. snige sig; cf. Icel. sn[=i]kja to hanker after.] 1. To creep or steal (away or about) privately; to come or go… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sneak — Sneak, v. t. To hide, esp. in a mean or cowardly manner. [Obs.] [Slander] sneaks its head. Wake. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sneak — Sneak, n. 1. A mean, sneaking fellow. [1913 Webster] A set of simpletons and superstitious sneaks. Glanvill. [1913 Webster] 2. (Cricket) A ball bowled so as to roll along the ground; called also {grub}. [Cant] R. A. Proctor. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sneak — [n] person who is very dishonest cheater, con artist, coward, cur, dastard, heel*, informer, louse, rascal, reptile, scoundrel, skunk*, slink*, snake*, snake in grass*, toad*, weasel*, wretch; concept 412 sneak [v] move stealthily ambush, case,… …   New thesaurus


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.