rip·​snort·​er ˈrip-ˈsnȯr-tər How to pronounce ripsnorter (audio)
: something extraordinary : humdinger
the finale was a ripsnorter
ripsnorting adjective

Did you know?

English speakers of the mid-19th century already had the term snorter at their disposal if they wanted a colorful term for something extraordinary, but that didn't stop speakers in the U.S. from throwing the verb rip onto the front of the word to create ripsnorter. And they didn't stop there: By the time the 20th century had reached its quarter mark, U.S. speakers had added hummer, humdinger (probably an alteration of hummer), pip (from pippin, a kind of crisp, tart apple and a term for a highly admirable person or thing), and doozy (thought to be an alteration of daisy) to the catalog of words for the striking or extraordinary.

Examples of ripsnorter in a Sentence

had high hopes that the football game would be a ripsnorter, but it turned out to be a real snoozer
Recent Examples on the Web Julia Roberts is the divine ripsnorter of weeping. New York Times, 8 Feb. 2022 Will relish manager Brendan Rodgers style of play, and could have another ripsnorter of a campaign., 6 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ripsnorter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ripsnorter was in 1840


Dictionary Entries Near ripsnorter

Cite this Entry

“Ripsnorter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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