verb (used without object)
- to look with a sideways or oblique glance, especially suggestive of lascivious interest or sly and malicious intention: I can’t concentrate with you leering at me.
- a lascivious or sly look.
- (intr) to give an oblique, sneering, or suggestive look or grin
- such a look
n.1590s, from leer (v). v.“to look obliquely” (now usually implying “with a lustful or malicious intent”), 1520s, probably from Middle English noun ler “cheek,” from Old English hleor “the cheek, the face,” from Proto-Germanic *khleuzas “near the ear,” from *kleuso- “ear,” from PIE root *kleu- “to hear” (see listen). The notion is probably of “looking askance” (cf. figurative development of cheek). Related: Leered; leering.