- Sneak means done without warning in an unknown, secret or quiet manner.
An example of sneak used as an adjective is "sneak attack" which means a surprise attack.
- The definition of a sneak is a cowardly person or a trickster.
An example of a sneak is someone who does questionable things in a quiet way to avoid being noticed.
- To sneak is defined as to move around or do something in a quiet or cowardly way.
An example of to sneak is to creep up behind someone and scare her.
intransitive verbsneaked or snuck, sneak′ing
- to move quietly and stealthily so as to avoid being seen or heard; go furtively
- to be a sneak; behave in a stealthy, underhanded, or cowardly manner
Origin of sneakprobably from Old English an unverified form snecan, akin to snican, to crawl: for Indo-European base see snail
- a person who sneaks; stealthy, underhanded, contemptible person
- an act of sneaking
- sneaker (sense ): usually used in pl.
sneak up (on)
verbsneaked, or snuck sneak·ing, sneaks
- To go or move in a quiet, stealthy way.
- To behave in a cowardly or servile manner.
- A person regarded as stealthy, cowardly, or underhanded.
- An instance of sneaking; a quiet, stealthy movement.
- Informal A sneaker.
- Carried out in a clandestine manner: sneak preparations for war.
- Perpetrated without warning: a sneak attack.
Origin of sneakProbably akin to Middle English sniken to creep from Old English snīcan
Usage Note: Snuck is an Americanism first introduced in the 1800s as a nonstandard regional variant of sneaked. Snuck probably arose in imitation of the pattern set by stick/stuck and strike/struck. Widespread use of snuck in the United States has become more common with every generation. It is now used by educated speakers in all regions and was acceptable to 75 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2008 survey. This stands in marked contrast to the 67 percent that disapproved of snuck twenty years earlier. The more traditional form sneaked, which predominates in British English, is fully acceptable as well, with 90 percent approving it in 2008.
- One who sneaks; one who moves stealthily to acquire an item or information.
- My little brother is such a sneak - yesterday I caught him trying to look through my diary.
- A cheat; a con artist; a trickster
- I can't believe I gave that sneak $50 for a ticket when they were selling for $20 at the front gate.
- An informer; a tell-tale.
(third-person singular simple present sneaks, present participle sneaking, simple past and past participle sneaked or snuck)
- (intransitive) To creep or go stealthily; to come or go while trying to avoid detection, as a person who does not wish to be seen.
- He decided to sneak into the kitchen for a second cookie while his mom was on the phone.
- To take something stealthily without permission.
- I went to sneak a chocolate but my dad caught me.
- (dated) To hide, especially in a mean or cowardly manner.
- (intransitive) (informal, especially with on) To inform an authority about another's misdemeanours; to tell tales; to grass.
- If you sneak on me I'll bash you!
1. To sneak something is not the same as to steal something. In this sense, sneak typically implies trying to avoid a supervisor's or guardian's mild displeasure or mild discipline (typically with food intended for several), while steal indicates a more serious action and often the person stealing does not know the owner of the item being stolen.2. The past and past participle snuck is primarily found in North American English, where it originated in the late 19th century as a dialectal form, and where it is still regarded as informal by some; its use appears to be increasing in frequency and acceptability. It is sometimes found in British and Australian/Hiberno-English too. (Compare The Cambridge Guide to English Usage, Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Webster's New World College Dictionary).