Definition of snivel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsnɪv(ə)l/

verb (snivels, snivelling, snivelled; US snivels, sniveling, sniveled)

[no object]
1Cry and sniffle: Kate started to snivel, looking sad and stunned
More example sentences
  • When they eventually troop off, and away, I blub and snivel for hours because the house is suddenly so terribly empty.
  • He glanced back at the pathetic shell of a man who stood in the middle of his living room, whimpering and snivelling.
  • Here I was, a blubbering heap, sniveling before these grand people…
sniffle, snuffle, run at the nose, have a runny/running nose;
whimper, whine, weep, cry, shed tears, sob, howl, mewl, bawl;
Scottish  greet
informal blub, blubber, boohoo
British informal grizzle
1.1Complain in a whining or tearful way: he shouldn’t snivel about his punishment (as adjective snivelling) you snivelling little brat!
More example sentences
  • Someone has to straighten these people out before all of our kids turn into sniveling, whining, spoiled brats.
  • After all the man had done for him, how could he whine and snivel and ask for more, dragging him down with demands?
  • I couldn't look at them, all I could do was whine and snivel and cry like a stupid, stupid baby.
Scottish & Irish  gurn
informal gripe, beef, bellyache, bitch, whinge, sound off, go on
British informal chunter, create, be on at someone
Northern English informal mither
North American informal kvetch
South African informal chirp
British dated crib, natter


An act or sound of snivelling: Lucy’s torrent of howls weakened to a snivel
More example sentences
  • Eric held back a reminiscent snivel, but the two voices heard it.
  • The snivel, therefore, from our mines to to jack up its delivery services is not only opportune but one which should be taken seriously.
  • There are certainly a few sniffs and snivels circulating the corridors of financial power in London, Tokyo and Frankfurt.



Pronunciation: /ˈsnɪv(ə)lə/
Example sentences
  • Grizzled veterans will squint into the sun, look you up and down, and warn that it is definitely not a race for snivellers.
  • In fact I won ‘sniveller of the year’ one year, according to a newspaper.
  • The creation of a generation of snivelers continues…


Example sentences
  • He's so snivellingly hateful and bitter.
  • They worked hard for their home, so how dare I snivellingly lay claim to any of it?
  • Only, and only then have I snivellingly taken back a post.


Late Old English (recorded only in the verbal noun snyflung 'mucus'), from snofl, in the same sense; compare with snuffle.

Words that rhyme with snivel

civil, drivel, shrivel, swivel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: snivel

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