Definition of sneaker in US English:



North American
  • A soft shoe with a rubber sole worn for sports or casual occasions.

    British term trainer (sense 2)
    • ‘Turns out the kids are wearing roller shoes - normal sneakers with a handy wheel underneath.’
    • ‘Dress them down with sneakers or flip-flops or take them out on the town with heels.’
    • ‘Evan had those shoes that were sneakers but made more for show then for anything else.’
    • ‘If the shoe is sturdy, like a sneaker, toss it in the wash on the gentle cycle and let it air dry.’
    • ‘Shoving my feet into a worn down pair of sneakers, I went out of my way to leave early.’
    • ‘We are a casual footwear brand for the sneaker wearing generation.’
    • ‘He wore a pair of worn out old sneakers that matched his worn out old jean trousers.’
    • ‘He'd tied his sneaker laces together, and now had his shoes strung about his neck.’
    • ‘She was amused to see he wore old sneakers instead of the boots favoured by the others.’
    • ‘One of the trendiest looks to hit the scene this year is wearing sneakers with a suit.’
    • ‘These types of socks are as low as they come and are made to be invisible in any kind of sneakers.’
    • ‘It's kind of wet outside, so you put on your waterproof boots instead of your sneakers.’
    • ‘The seemingly unending silence was broken by the soft treading of sneakers on soil.’
    • ‘Do you think sneakers are just another part of fashion or do they mean more than that?’
    • ‘One of the shoelaces on her sneaker had come untied and was blowing vulnerably in the wind.’
    • ‘For some reason I looked down as well and started to watch as he dug the tip of his sneaker into the carpet.’
    • ‘Complete the look with a pair of dark brown biker boots or a stylish pair of vintage sneakers.’
    • ‘There's no point in buying a pair of sneakers that will break after two weeks of use.’
    • ‘I began to lace up my sneakers, hiding my face behind my hair as I took a deep breath.’
    • ‘She put on the sneakers she had worn home from the hospital and went outside, shutting the front door behind her.’
    training shoe, running shoe, sports shoe, tennis shoe, plimsoll
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: (in sense ‘person or animal that sneaks’): the current sense dates from the late 19th century.