Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

snaffle

play
noun snaf·fle \ˈsna-fəl\

Definition of snaffle

  1. :  a simple usually jointed bit for a bridle



Origin and Etymology of snaffle

origin unknown


First Known Use: 1533


2

snaffle

transitive verb snaf·fle

Definition of snaffle

snaffled

snaffling

play \ˈsna-f(ə-)liŋ\
  1. :  to obtain especially by devious or irregular means



Did You Know?

The origins of snaffle are shrouded in mystery. What we know of its story begins in the 16th century - at that time, snaffle existed as both a noun referring to a simple bit for a horse's bridle and a verb meaning "to fit or equip with a snaffle" or "to restrain or check with or as if with a snaffle." The noun could be from an old German word for mouth, snavel, but the connection has not been confirmed. The "obtain" meaning of the verb appeared in the early 18th century, and its origins are similarly elusive. A 1699 dictionary entered snaffle with the definition "a Highwayman that has got Booty" - that's a logical derivative of the verb, but it is also unconfirmed.

Origin and Etymology of snaffle

origin unknown


First Known Use: 1724

Rhymes with snaffle


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up snaffle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to destroy or remove completely

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival hiemal vernal brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ