sneeze

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English snesen (to sneeze), alteration of earlier fnesen (to sneeze), from Old English fnēosan (to snort, sneeze), from Proto-Germanic *fneusaną (to sneeze, snort), from Proto-Indo-European *pnew- (to breathe, sneeze). Cognate with Dutch dialectal fniezen (to sneeze), Old Norse fnýsa (to snort); Middle English neosen (to sneeze), from Old Norse hnjósa (to sneeze), Old High German niosan (to sneeze)}.

The infrequency of the “fn” combination coupled with the visual similarity of an “f” and “ſ” (long “s”) assisted in ultimately turning “fneeze” into “ſneeze (sneeze)” (compare snore, from Middle English fnore).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

sneeze (third-person singular simple present sneezes, present participle sneezing, simple past and past participle sneezed)

  1. (intransitive) To expel air as a reflex induced by an irritation in the nose.
  2. (intransitive) To expel air as if the nose were irritated.

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Noun[edit]

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sneeze (plural sneezes)

  1. An act of sneezing.

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