Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To go or move in a quiet, stealthy way.
  • intransitive verb To behave in a cowardly or servile manner.
  • intransitive verb To move, give, take, or put in a quiet, stealthy manner.
  • noun A person regarded as stealthy, cowardly, or underhanded.
  • noun An instance of sneaking; a quiet, stealthy movement.
  • noun Informal A sneaker.
  • adjective Carried out in a clandestine manner.
  • adjective Perpetrated without warning.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A mean, contemptible fellow; one who has recourse to mean and cowardly methods; a person of selfish and cowardly temper and conduct.
  • noun A petty thief. See sneak-thief and area-sneak.
  • noun In cricket, a ball bowled along the ground; a grub.
  • noun In whist, a singleton lead.
  • To creep or steal about privately; go furtively, as if afraid or ashamed to be seen; slink.
  • To behave with meanness and servility; crouch; truckle.
  • To steal; pilfer. See sneak-thief.
  • To hide; conceal in a furtive or cowardly manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To hide, esp. in a mean or cowardly manner.
  • intransitive verb To creep or steal (away or about) privately; to come or go meanly, as a person afraid or ashamed to be seen.
  • intransitive verb To act in a stealthy and cowardly manner; to behave with meanness and servility; to crouch.
  • noun A mean, sneaking fellow.
  • noun (Cricket), Cant A ball bowled so as to roll along the ground; -- called also grub.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A mean, sneaking fellow.
  • noun An informer; a tell-tale; a grass.
  • noun obsolete , (cricket) A ball bowled so as to roll along the ground; a daisy-cutter
  • verb To creep or steal (away or about) privately; to come or go meanly, as a person afraid or ashamed to be seen;
  • verb To hide, especially in a mean or cowardly manner.
  • verb informal To inform an authority about another's misdemeanours; to tell tales; to grass.

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

  • verb put, bring, or take in a secretive or furtive manner
  • adjective marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed
  • verb to go stealthily or furtively
  • verb pass on stealthily
  • verb make off with belongings of others
  • noun someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police
  • noun someone who prowls or sneaks about; usually with unlawful intentions
  • noun a person who is regarded as underhanded and furtive and contemptible

Etymologies

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

[Probably akin to Middle English sniken, to creep, from Old English snīcan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English sniken ("to creep, crawl"), related to Old English snican ("to desire, reach for sneakily"), from Proto-Germanic *sneikanan, which is related to the root of snake.

Examples

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