What does sneer mean?

Definitions for sneer

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sneer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sneer, leernoun

    a facial expression of contempt or scorn; the upper lip curls

  2. sneerverb

    a contemptuous or scornful remark

  3. sneerverb

    express through a scornful smile

    "she sneered her contempt"

  4. sneerverb

    smile contemptuously

    "she sneered at her little sister's efforts to play the song on the piano"


  1. sneernoun

    A facial expression where one slightly raises one corner of the upper lip, generally indicating scorn.

  2. sneernoun

    A display of contempt; scorn

  3. sneerverb

    To raise a corner of the upper lip slightly, especially in scorn

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sneernoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Did not the sneer of more impartial men
    At sense and virtue, balance all agen. Alexander Pope.

    Socrates or Cæsar might have a fool’s coat clapt upon them, and in this disguise neither the wisdom of the one nor the majesty of the other could secure them from a sneer. Isaac Watts.

  2. To Sneerverb

    Etymology: This word is apparently of the same family with snore and snort.

    The wolf was by, and the fox in a sneering way advised him not to irritate a prince against his subjects. Roger L'Estrange.

    I could be content to be a little sneered at in a line, for the sake of the pleasure I should have in reading the rest. Alexander Pope.

    If there has been any thing expressed with too much severity, it will fall upon those sneering or daring writers of the age against religion, who have left reason and decency. Isaac Watts.

    I have not been sneering fulsome lies, and nauseous flattery, at a little tawdry whore. William Congreve.

    I had no power over one muscle in their faces, though they sneered at every word spoken by each other. Tatler.


  1. sneer

    A sneer is a scornful or contemptuous facial expression, smile, or remark that usually involves the upper lip being curled in an unpleasant or mocking way. It can also refer to an unkind or derogatory comment or action meant to belittle or mock someone or something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sneerverb

    to show contempt by turning up the nose, or by a particular facial expression

  2. Sneerverb

    to inssinuate contempt by a covert expression; to speak derisively

  3. Sneerverb

    to show mirth awkwardly

  4. Sneerverb

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

  5. Sneerverb

    to treat with sneers; to affect or move by sneers

  6. Sneernoun

    the act of sneering

  7. Sneernoun

    a smile, grin, or contortion of the face, indicative of contempt; an indirect expression or insinuation of contempt


  1. Sneer

    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: 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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sneer

    snēr, v.i. to show contempt by the expression of the face, as by turning up the nose: to insinuate contempt.—v.t. to utter sneeringly.—n. an indirect expression of contempt.—n. Sneer′er.—adj. Sneer′ing.—adv. Sneer′ingly. [Scand., Dan. snærre, to grin like a dog; cf. Snarl.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. sneer

    To "make all sneer again" is to carry canvas to such an extent as to strain the ropes and spars to the utmost.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for sneer »

  1. ernes

  2. Resen

  3. renes

How to pronounce sneer?

How to say sneer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sneer in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sneer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of sneer in a Sentence

  1. Charles Hendrickson Brower:

    A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow.

  2. Joe Keenan:

    There are, however, people in this world who seldom pick up a newspaper, people who, when watching television, sneer in displeasure and change channels at the first glimpse of an anchorperson. While such willfully uninformed citizens are rare, emerging from seclusion only to serve on juries in trials of great national significance, they do exist.

  3. Louis Auchincloss:

    Only little boys and old men sneer at love.

  4. Johann Kaspar Lavater:

    A sneer is often the sign of heartless malignity.

  5. Vachel Lindsay:

    Never be a cynic, even a gentle one. Never help out a sneer, even at the devil.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sneer

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for sneer »


Find a translation for the sneer definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"sneer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sneer>.

Discuss these sneer definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for sneer? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    malicious satisfaction
    • A. excogitate
    • B. flub
    • C. gloat
    • D. huff

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for sneer: