verb (past sneaked or informalsnuck /ˈsnək/)[no object]
- 2 (usually sneaks) North Americanshort for sneaker.
late 16th century: probably dialect; perhaps related to obsolete snike 'to creep'
The traditional standard past form of sneak is sneaked (she sneaked around the corner). An alternative past form, snuck (she snuck past me), arose in the US in the 19th century. Until very recently, snuck was confined to US dialect use and was regarded as nonstandard. However, in the last few decades, its use has spread in the US, where it is now regarded as a standard alternative to sneaked in all but the most formal contexts. In the Oxford English Corpus, there are now more US citations for snuck than there are for sneaked, and there is evidence of snuck gaining ground in British English as well.