English

Definition of sneak verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    sneak

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//sniːk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sniːk//
     
    The usual past form is sneaked, but snuck
    BrE BrE//snʌk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//snʌk//
     
    is now very common in informal speech in North American English, and some people use it in British Englishtoo. However, many people think that it is not correct and it should not be used in formal writing.
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sneak
    BrE BrE//sniːk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sniːk//
     
    he / she / it sneaks
    BrE BrE//sniːks//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sniːks//
     
    past simple sneaked
    BrE BrE//sniːkt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sniːkt//
     
    past participle sneaked
    BrE BrE//sniːkt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sniːkt//
     
    -ing form sneaking
    BrE BrE//ˈsniːkɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsniːkɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive] + adv./prep. to go somewhere secretly, trying to avoid being seen synonym creep I sneaked up the stairs. Did you sneak into my room while I was asleep? I caught him trying to sneak in without paying. We sneaked out through the back door.
  2. 2[transitive] to do something or take somebody/something somewhere secretly, often without permission sneak something We sneaked a look at her diary. If the gate is open, you can sneak a peek at the gardens. At last we were able to sneak a moment alone together. sneak something to somebody I managed to sneak a note to him. sneak somebody something I managed to sneak him a note.
  3. 3[transitive] sneak something (informal) to secretly take something small or unimportant synonym pinch I sneaked a cake when they were out of the room.
  4. 4[intransitive] sneak (on somebody) (to somebody) (old-fashioned, British English, disapproving) to tell an adult that another child has done something wrong, especially in order to cause trouble synonym snitch Did you sneak on me to the teacher?
  5. Word Origin late 16th cent.: probably dialect; perhaps related to obsolete snike ‘to creep’. Phrasal Verbssneak up
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sneak