sneak Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sneak” in the English Dictionary

"sneak" in British English

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sneakverb

uk   us   /sniːk/ (sneaked or US also snuck, sneaked or US also snuck)
  • sneak verb (MOVE SECRETLY)

C2 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to go ​somewheresecretly, or to take someone or something ​somewheresecretly: I ​managed to sneak in through the back ​door while she wasn't ​looking. Jan doesn't have a ​ticket but I ​thought we might sneak her in. I ​thought I'd sneak up on him (= ​moveclose to him without him ​seeing) and give him a ​surprise.
  • sneak verb (TELL SECRETLY)

[I] UK slang disapproving to ​secretlytell someone in ​authority, ​especially a ​teacher, that someone ​else has done something ​bad, often in ​order to ​causetrouble: She was always sneaking on other ​kids in the ​class.
Synonym

sneaknoun [C]

uk   us   /sniːk/ UK slang disapproving
a ​person who ​tellspeople in ​authority when someone ​else does something ​bad: You told ​Mrs Cooper that it was me who ​tipped the ​paint over, didn't you - you ​nasty little sneak!
Synonym
(Definition of sneak from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sneak" in American English

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sneakverb [always + adv/prep]

 us   /snik/ (past tense and past participle sneaked or snuck  /snʌk/ )
to go or do something ​secretly, or take someone or something ​somewheresecretly: [I always + adv/prep] He sneaked out of the ​house, going out through the back way. [T] I sneaked a ​look at my ​watch. [T] Make ​sure you sneak a little ​bit of ​protein into ​yoursnacks. [I always + adv/prep] He snuck out of the ​budgetmeeting and went back to the ​lab.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of sneak from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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