1. A scornful facial expression characterized by a slight raising of one corner of the upper lip.
2. A scornful tone or statement.
v. sneered, sneer·ing, sneers
1. To assume a scornful or derisive facial expression.
2. To speak in a scornful or derisive manner.
To utter with a sneer or in a sneering manner.
[From Middle English sneren, to mock, alteration of Old English fnǣran, to breathe heavily; see pneu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
sneerful, sneery adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.