Share this entry

snivel Line breaks: snivel
Pronunciation: /ˈsnɪv(ə)l/

Definition of snivel in English:

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…
Synonyms
sniffle, snuffle, run at the nose, have a runny/running nose;
whimper, whine, weep, cry, shed tears, sob, howl, mewl, bawl;
Scottish greet
informalblub, blubber, boohoo
British informalgrizzle
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.
Synonyms
Scottish & Irish gurn
informalgripe, beef, bellyache, bitch, whinge, sound off, go on
British informalchunter, create, be on at someone
Northern English informalmither
North American informalkvetch
South African informalchirp
British datedcrib, natter

noun

Back to top  
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.

Derivatives

sniveller

1
Pronunciation: /ˈsnɪv(ə)lə/
noun
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…

snivellingly

2
adverb
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.

Origin

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

Definition of snivel in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources