Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To pry into the private affairs of others, especially by prowling about.
  • n. One who snoops.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be devious and cunning so as not to be seen
  • v. To secretly spy on or investigate, especially into the private personal life of others.
  • n. The act of snooping
  • n. One who snoops
  • n. A private detective

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pry about; go about in a prying or sneaking way.
  • n. One who snoops, or pries or sneaks about; a snooper.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a spy who makes uninvited inquiries into the private affairs of others
  • v. watch, observe, or inquire secretly

Etymologies

Dutch snoepen, to eat on the sly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dutch snoepen ("to pry, eat in secret, sneak"). Related to Dutch and Low German snappen ("to bite, seize"), Dutch snavel ("beak, bill, pecker, neb"), German Schnabel ("beak, bill, mouth"). More at snap. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And the word snoop should probably raise a red flag.

    CNN Transcript Feb 9, 2006

  • March 3, 2008 at 10: 58 am why is your name snoop dogg?

    Snoop Dogg Returns To Londizzle After Airport Rumpus

  • The card can scan for both a and b networks without losing the current configuration, or you can use what it nicely calls a snoop mode which performs more extensive frequency checking.

    Wi-Fi Networking News

  • The Telegraph reports today that "Children as young as eight have been recruited by councils to" snoop "on their neighbours and report petty offences such as littering, the Daily Telegraph can disclose."

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Children as young as eight have been recruited by councils to "snoop" on their neighbours and report petty offences such as littering, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Without any need to "snoop", it provided me with a dashboard into the productivity of my news organization.

    Facebook’s Core College Student Users Laugh At Attempts To Use It For Business - Publishing 2.0

  • Like the guest from hell, Dickens was the kind of snoop who peers under the rugs.

    Like Dickens, I'm a Tourist On Withered Ground

  • Since OneStatFree will let you know if anyone tries downloading the file (and will log the time, IP address, and approximate location of the snoop), you’ll know the snoop was there even if the he tries covering his tracks by marking the message as unread.

    Check Your Email Account for Impostors | Lifehacker Australia

  • So let me get this straight, after apologising for snooping they continued to snoop which is how they know the people were unhappy.

    ZGeek

  • This was recently highlighted in a widely reported meeting held in Parliament, hosted by Baroness Miller, at which Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, made a firm stand against technologies which 'snoop' on the Internet, because of the highly sensitive nature of those communications.

    The Open Rights Group

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Comments

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  • From the etymology section:
    "Dutch snoepen, to eat on the sly."

    December 6, 2011