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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ "I wouldn't be seen in public wearing that," Janina sneered.
▪ As she read the letter, she started to sneer.
▪ He wanted to prove something to the critics who had sneered at his paintings.
▪ Instead of helping, they just sat and sneered.
▪ She'd not forgotten how Gareth had laughed and sneered at them when they'd first tried to be friendly.
▪ Some clients would sneer or smile sarcastically when I showed them my old laptop -- until they saw what it could do.
▪ Camels sneered and lurched to their feet, crocodiles yawned like man-traps.
▪ He had shined on innumerable lessons, sneered at too many ideas, turned thumbs-down on the mind.
▪ Hillary Clinton sneered at a llama that some one brought to a rally in Pennsylvania.
▪ It is easy to sneer at the credulous pilgrims.
▪ So many years a teacher, you know it all! she sneered, feeling her face twist grey and cold.
▪ "And what's your name?" he demanded, his lip curling into a sneer.
▪ "And who might you be?" he said with a sneer.
▪ Asked to do little more than dispense evil sneers at intervals, Sutherland does just that.
▪ Associates introduced a new fund to invest in technology stocks amid sneers and snickers from analysts and rival fund groups.
▪ Cue for another collective Washington sneer at Los Angeles.
▪ He did not mention Labour and even refrained from a sneer at the opinion pollsters.
▪ The sneer had turned into a lump in his throat.
▪ The Prince smirked and Gaveston turned, for the first time acknowledging their presence with a condescending sneer.
▪ The training officer distracted them with sneers at their tameness.
▪ Yet the sneer, the attitude and a handy pair of sunglasses made it clear: The guy is cool.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sneer \Sneer\, v. t.

  1. To utter with a grimace or contemptuous expression; to utter with a sneer; to say sneeringly; as, to sneer fulsome lies at a person.

    ``A ship of fools,'' he sneered.

  2. To treat with sneers; to affect or move by sneers.

    Nor sneered nor bribed from virtue into shame.


Sneer \Sneer\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Sneered; p. pr. & vb. n. Sneering.] [OE. sneren, Dan. sn?rre to snarl or grin (like a dog); cf. Prov. E. sneer to grin, sner to snort, snert to sneer at. See Snore, v. i.]

  1. To show contempt by turning up the nose, or by a particular facial expression.

  2. To inssinuate contempt by a covert expression; to speak derisively.

    I could be content to be a little sneared at.

  3. To show mirth awkwardly. [R.]

    Syn: To scoff; gibe; jeer.

    Usage: Sneer, Scoff, Jeer. The verb to sneer implies to cast contempt indirectly or by covert expressions. To jeer is stronger, and denotes the use of several sarcastic reflections. To scoff is stronger still, implying the use of insolent mockery and derision.

    And sneers as learnedly as they, Like females o'er their morning tea.

    Midas, exposed to all their jeers, Had lost his art, and kept his ears.

    The fop, with learning at defiance, Scoffs at the pedant and science.


Sneer \Sneer\, n.

  1. The act of sneering.

  2. A smile, grin, or contortion of the face, indicative of contempt; an indirect expression or insinuation of contempt. ''Who can refute a sneer?''

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1550s, "to snort" (of horses), perhaps from North Frisian sneere "to scorn," related to Old English fnæran "to snort, gnash one's teeth," of imitative origin (compare Danish snærre "to grin like a dog," Middle Dutch, Middle High German snarren "to rattle"). Meaning "to smile contemptuously" is from 1670s; sense of "to curl the upper lip in scorn" is attested from 1775. Related: Sneered; sneering. Sneer word is in E. Digby Baltzell (1987).


1707, from sneer (v.).


n. 1 A facial expression where one slightly raises one corner of the upper lip, ''generally'' indicating scorn. 2 A display of contempt; scorn. vb. 1 (context intransitive English) To raise a corner of the upper lip slightly, ''especially'' in scorn 2 (context transitive English) To utter with a grimace or contemptuous expression; to say sneeringly.

  1. n. a facial expression of contempt or scorn; the upper lip curls [syn: leer]

  2. a contemptuous or scornful remark

  3. v. express through a scornful smile; "she sneered her contempt"

  4. smile contemptuously; "she sneered at her little sister's efforts to play the song on the piano"

Sneer (band)

Sneer is an American experimental music and award-winning filmmaking duo formed by Sarah Rivka and Tomas Seidita in Los Angeles, California.


A sneer is a facial expression of scorn or disgust characterized by a slight raising of one corner of the upper lip, known also as curling the lip or turning up the nose. In The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, Charles Darwin defined a "sneer" as "the upper lip being retracted in such a manner that the canine tooth on one side of the face alone is shown" Darwin related the sneer to the snarl observed in non-human animals, particularly carnivores, observing that:

The uncovering of the canine tooth is the result of a double movement. The angle or corner of the mouth is drawn a little backwards, and at the same time a muscle which runs parallel to and near the nose draws up the outer part of the upper lip, and exposes the canine on this side of the face. The contraction of this muscle makes a distinct furrow on the cheek, and produces strong wrinkles under the eye, especially at its inner corner. The action is the same as that of a snarling dog; and a dog when pretending to fight often draws up the lip on one side alone, namely that facing his antagonist.

It is suggested that the sneer is a universal expression of contempt and that Darwin was the first to observe this. Cats may be observed to sneer, though this is probably related to the Flehmen response.

Usage examples of "sneer".

And I saw Astel in those eyes, laughing at me, and Tacit in those eyes, proclaiming that he, not I, was the hero, and I saw the contempt of the knights, the sneers of the squires, the disdain of Stroker, everyone, all encapsulated in this one neat package.

I saw Astel in those eyes, laughing at me, and Tacit in those eyes, proclaiming that he, not I, was the hero, and I saw the contempt of the knights, the sneers of the squires, the disdain of Stroker, everyone, all encapsulated in this one neat package.

She looked down to see Byle Bander leaning from the bridge rail, staring up at her with the half sneer he always wore.

Beedie could think of was that phlegmy chuckle of old Slysaw Bander, the sneering eyes of Byle Bander, the two of them like as root hairs.

Mijnheer Beek, as usual, took exception to everything, snapping away at Christina in his beautiful Dutch and sneering at her efforts to answer him in the same language.

Therese, seeing that he was posing as master of the field, and that his manners disgusted me, began to snub him, much to his displeasure, and after sneering at the poorness of the dishes, and praising the wine which he had supplied, he went out leaving us to finish our dessert by ourselves.

He had a human body that he stole off some bogman of a farmer that gave him a lift but you knew by the twisted sneer that inside he was a fat green blob with tentacles like an octopus and his face all scales.

Hearing these words, he came up to me, sneering, called me a coward, and gave me a smack on the face which almost stunned me.

It looked much more like a sneer, for Chubby had no faith in rows of printed figures in pamphlets.

The dasht, seeing him also, flashed him a rousing sneer over his shoulder and addressed himself again to the target.

Killer Durgan looked sharply at him, the cold sneer lurking at his mouth corners.

Professor van Duyl, and she detected the faint trace of a sneer in his voice.

The men at Ninar Foan had been sneering about the palace fliers of the Royal Guard, but if that performance was typical, then it was the locals who had much to learn.

His sneering glance included Taverik, whose yellow hair and wide cheekbones proclaimed him Pakajan, and the Copper Guild man, with his light red hair and freckled face.

Fupus, who had entered the frigidarium behind von Harben, sneered as he saw the dive and heard the applause.