Definition of snivel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsnivəl/

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

[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, whimper, whine, weep, cry
informal blubber, boo-hoo
1.1Complain in a whining or tearful way: he shouldn’t snivel about his punishment (as adjective sniveling) you sniveling 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.


A slight sniff indicating suppressed emotion or crying: 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: /ˈsniv(ə)lər/
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

Syllabification: sniv·el

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