\ ˈsnag \

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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for snag

Synonyms: Noun

booby trap, catch, gimmick, hitch, joker, pitfall

Synonyms: Verb

bag, capture, catch, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grab, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, 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

New shows and top talent will be pitched from the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, followed by lavish evening affairs where marketers can eat lobster rolls and snag selfies with network stars. New York Times, "Why Traditional TV Is in Trouble," 13 May 2018 Suction cups or oversized tongs attached to the arms snag cans, glass, plastic containers, and other recyclable items out of the rubbish and flick them into nearby bins. Bryn Nelson /, NBC News, "How robots are reshaping one of the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs," 17 Apr. 2018 But the $24 million plan to protect Miami Beach, which included raising roads and installing industrial pumps, has hit a snag, according to the Miami Herald. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Florida governor race heats up with Trump endorsement, FBI probe: A look at the candidates," 22 June 2018 Rebelle’s broad new ocean net hit a few snags, too. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Reborn Rebelle now San Antonio’s finest seafood restaurant," 14 June 2018 Her attempts to become a US citizen hit legal snags, however, and in January she was told to return with a ticket to Peru on March 26. Marek Mazurek,, "Peruvian woman granted stay of removal, leaves Springfield sanctuary," 12 June 2018 Barring an unexpected snag in contract details, San Antonio Spurs assistant James Borrego will be the next coach of the Charlotte Hornets. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Hornets finalizing deal with Spurs assistant to be next head coach | Charlotte Observer," 8 May 2018 Through the end of summer, visitors are invited to approach this bloated cousin of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro and snag one free all-beef hot dog per day. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "We have some questions about this blobby yellow bus that dispenses free hot dogs," 11 July 2018 There were many snags along the way, but today Mi-Amore provides food for 40 elderly people, single-parent families, and recovering addicts in Winthrop. Alison Arnett,, "At Mi-Amore, volunteers put recovered food in the hands of those who need it most," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

During the school year, students began arriving at the store opening, 8:30 a.m., to snag a seat. Graham Ambrose,, "Free coffee — with a catch — is coming to Massachusetts," 14 July 2018 However, Build-a-Bear had to cancel the sale because of safety concerns after hundreds of parents waited in line for hours hoping to snag a toy. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Build-a-Bear blunder: Other company promotions that epically failed," 13 July 2018 Content from Wells Fargo The events have become so popular that some people are waiting up to six months to snag a place. Julia Lyon, Washington Post, "People are waiting in line. Is it Hamilton? No, it’s Bob Ross on YouTube.," 13 July 2018 Tired and with only one sub left over the next 70-plus minutes, Indy dug deep to snag the three points. Kevin Johnston, Indianapolis Star, "Hammy tweaks, tired legs not enough to slow Indy Eleven in comeback win," 7 July 2018 Call ahead to snag the Round Table for your party of four to six. Jennifer Larue, The Seattle Times, "Soaking up Manhattan’s literary history: A book lover’s bar-hopping guide," 2 July 2018 Also, use a coupon to snag a free Yankee Candle with a $20 purchase, good through Friday. Doreen Christensen,, "Freebie Friday: Free Frappuccinos at Starbucks, free Yankee Candles, $1 Quarter Pounders," 29 June 2018 Wedding season has arrived, and strolling through Target to snag another dishware set or standing mixer can become redundant and unexciting. Christen A. Johnson,, "Paying for student loans, IVF with wedding money? Cash, charity registries increasingly common, study says," 22 June 2018 Check out the slideshow above to see what fans can receive for free at Minute Maid Park this season... The Houston Astros' 2018 season is nearly half over, but there's still time to snag some of the freebies handed out at home games. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "The Astros are giving away World Series replica rings and more at Minute Maid Park," 20 June 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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Learn More about snag

Dictionary Entries near snag

snack table




snag boat



Phrases Related to snag

hit a snag

Statistics for snag

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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

: to catch, capture, or get (something or someone) by quick action or good luck


\ ˈsnag \

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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Comments on snag

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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