Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To expel air forcibly from the mouth and nose in an explosive, spasmodic involuntary action resulting chiefly from irritation of the nasal mucous membrane.
  • noun An instance or the sound of sneezing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To emit air from the nose and mouth audibly and violently by an involuntary convulsive action, as occasioned by irritation of the lining membrane of the nose or by stimulation of the retina by a brigbt light.
  • To utter with or like a sneeze.
  • noun The act of one who sneezes, or the sound made by sneezing; sudden and violent ejection of air through the nose and mouth with an audible sound.
  • noun Snuff. Also snish.

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

  • noun A sudden and violent ejection of air with an audible sound, chiefly through the nose.
  • intransitive verb To emit air, chiefly through the nose, audibly and violently, by a kind of involuntary convulsive force, occasioned by irritation of the inner membrane of the nose.
  • intransitive verb [Colloq.] not to be despised or contemned; not to be treated lightly.

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

  • verb To expel air as a reflex induced by an irritation in the nose.
  • verb To expel air as if the nose were irritated.
  • noun An act of sneezing.

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

  • noun a symptom consisting of the involuntary expulsion of air from the nose
  • verb exhale spasmodically, as when an irritant entered one's nose

Etymologies

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

[Middle English snesen, alteration of fnesen, from Old English fnēosan; see pneu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English snesen ("to sneeze"), alteration of earlier fnesen ("to sneeze"), from Old English fnēosan ("to snort, sneeze"), from Proto-Germanic *fneusanan (“to sneeze, snort”), from Proto-Indo-European *pnew- (“to breathe, sneeze”). Cognate with Dutch dialectal fniezen (Modern Standard Dutch niezen, "to sneeze"), Old Norse fnȳsa ("to snort"); Middle English neosen ("to sneeze"), from Old Norse hnjōsa (Swedish nysa, "to sneeze"), Old High German niosan (German niesen, "to sneeze").

Examples

  • For the record, holding in a sneeze is way easier than holding in laughter.

    AMY POEHLER, TINA FEY ACT CUTE (UPDATED)

  • This was, or would have been, evidenced by an isolated high-pitched sneeze from the far end of the car, - except - that from the far side of the other end, someone yelled out a brazen “bless you!”

    The Chaser | Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

  • Its a joy to set them off cause its seems a sneeze is enough. (etc)

    Poor Bernie « BuzzMachine

  • Its a joy to set them off cause its seems a sneeze is enough.

    Poor Bernie « BuzzMachine

  • With you a word is an omen, you call a sneeze an omen, a meeting an omen, an unknown sound an omen, a slave or an ass an omen.

    The Birds

  • The purr wasn't very loud, for the blue kitten was like to sneeze from the dust.

    The Blue Cat of Castle Town

  • Some of their words convey the direct meaning of the thing implied – thus, ché-charm, "to sneeze," is the very sound of that act; toó-me-duh, "to churn," gives the noise made by the dashing of the cream from side to side; and many others.

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • When a certain king of Bisnagar sneezes, the court, the town, the provinces, all the subjects of his empire, in short, sneeze in imitation of their monarch.

    Paris as It Was and as It Is

  • For years, we’ve all been told that the sneeze is the body’s attempt to rid itself of something foreign – to get rid of viruses and bacteria and so forth.

    Nothing to Sneeze At

  • For years, we’ve all been told that the sneeze is the body’s attempt to rid itself of something foreign – to get rid of [...]

    2009 October archive | J. Robert King

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