\ ˈsnag How to pronounce snag (audio) \

Definition of snag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a tree or branch embedded in a lake or stream bed and constituting a hazard to navigation
b : a standing dead tree
2 : a rough sharp or jagged projecting part : protuberance: such as
a : a projecting tooth also : a stump of a tooth
b : one of the secondary branches of an antler
3 : a concealed or unexpected difficulty or obstacle
4a : a jagged tear made by or as if by catching on a snag
b : an irregularity that suggests the result of tearing especially : a pulled thread in fabric a snag in her stocking


snagged; snagging

Definition of snag (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to catch and usually damage on or as if on a snag
b : to halt or impede as if by catching on a snag
2 : to hew, trim, or cut roughly or jaggedly
3 : to clear (something, such as a river) of snags
4 : to catch or obtain usually by quick action or good fortune

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Other Words from snag


snaggy \ ˈsna-​gē How to pronounce snaggy (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for snag

Synonyms: Noun

booby trap, catch, catch-22, gimmick, gotcha, hitch, joker, land mine, pitfall

Synonyms: Verb

bag, capture, catch, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grab, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, nobble [British slang], rap, seize, snap (up), snare, snatch, trap

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of snag in a Sentence


I caught my sleeve on a snag and tore it. My sweater has a snag where I caught it on a nail.


I snagged my favorite sweater on a nail. The shortstop snagged the grounder. The police snagged the suspect as he was trying to run away. I managed to snag the information I needed from the Internet. Can I snag a ride from you?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Curve hit a snag in this quest earlier this year, when American Express blocked the company from letting customers use its card. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "We are “very close” to peak fintech, with more than 10,000 startups jumping into the boom," 5 June 2019 Originally scheduled for 2018, the effort was postponed for a year because of a snag in government pesticide permits, organizers say. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Mass rodent poisoning on this remote Australian island could bring back giant stick insect," 5 June 2019 But it's hit many snags in its development and production. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Finally in the black: Tesla has a good quarter," 25 Oct. 2018 Watch these teens walk in heels for the first time and snag some tips for your prom red carpet. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "10 Gorgeous Prom Shoes That Will Dazzle on the Dance Floor," 26 Feb. 2019 The biggest snag focused on whether to include back pay for federal contractors to make up for lost compensation during the record-long partial government shutdown that ended last month. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Border-Security Funding Deal Nears a Vote," 14 Feb. 2019 The race to snag tickets for tickets for one out of the two weekends (or both, who knows) is one that people prepare for as soon as the festival ends. Teen Vogue, "8 Coachella-Inspired Decor Pieces That Will Make Your Dorm Feel (And Look) Like Palm Springs," 12 Apr. 2019 Related How to Dine at Your Desk in Style There is still a snag. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "The Lunchbox Renaissance," 24 Jan. 2019 But there's a snag to this plan, as is often the case when intellectual property is at stake. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Original Star Wars movies blocked from Disney streaming until 2024," 3 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dohrman snagged the first spot in line on Saturday to collect one of the flamethrowers sold to raise $10 million for Boring, a tunnel-digging company that’s working on a futuristic type of train-like transportation known as Hyperloop. Sarah Mcbride,, "Boring Co. Flamethrower Party Heats Up Elon Musk Fans," 10 June 2018 Lots of kid-friendly shows snagged Tony nominations this year. Katrina Lenk, CBS News, "2018 Tony Awards nominees – winners announced tonight," 10 June 2018 From the 1990s through 2008, Berra snagged seven first-place wins, four second-place finishes, and one third-place finish in the Palms to Pines All Women's Air Races, a race that goes from Santa Monica to Bend, Oregon. Karen Pearlman,, "Flyovers to honor Fran Bera, 93, jet-setting aviation pioneer," 22 Mar. 2018 More recently, Cuomo snagged an endorsement from New York’s largest union, the state affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, which represents the bulk of the state’s healthcare workers. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Cynthia Nixon Could Mount A Primary Challenge to Cuomo," 6 Mar. 2018 Best Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer: The Shape of Water Octavia Spencer snagged a nomination for her role in The Shape of Water this year, making her the first black actress to be nominated two years in a row. Jeremy Harriot, The Root, "Rooting for Everybody Black: Handicapping the Black Oscar Nominees," 3 Mar. 2018 Last season, Alabama snagged four -- Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Tyrell Shavers. Rainer Sabin,, "WR Jacob Copeland spurns Alabama, opts for Florida," 7 Feb. 2018 Thomas snagged five passes for 91 yards at Penn State, then caught five balls for 53 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio State. Larry Holder,, "Latest New Orleans Saints Mock Draft: Florida's Taven Bryan beefs up front four," 31 Mar. 2018 Fans of Oreos can snag a free treat Tuesday, which is National Oreo Day. Ajc Homepage, ajc, "Oreo is giving away a million bars for National Oreo Day," 6 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of snag


circa 1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for snag


perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse snagi clothes peg

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Dictionary Entries near snag

snack table




snag boat



Statistics for snag

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snag

The first known use of snag was circa 1587

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More Definitions for snag



English Language Learners Definition of snag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an unexpected problem or difficulty
: a sharp or broken part of something that sticks out from a smooth surface
: a thread that sticks out from a piece of cloth



English Language Learners Definition of snag (Entry 2 of 2)

: to catch and tear (something) on something sharp
US, informal : to catch, capture, or get (something or someone) by quick action or good luck


\ ˈsnag How to pronounce snag (audio) \

Kids Definition of snag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a rough or broken part sticking out from something
2 : an unexpected difficulty Our plan hit a snag.
3 : a stump or stub of a tree branch especially when hidden under water


snagged; snagging

Kids Definition of snag (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to catch or damage on or as if on a part sticking up or out He snagged his sleeve on a nail.
2 : to catch or capture by or as if by reaching out quickly and grabbing I was snagged by the teacher on my way out.

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More from Merriam-Webster on snag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snag

Spanish Central: Translation of snag

Nglish: Translation of snag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snag for Arabic Speakers

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