\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, 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

California police were on the other line with details about how their drug investigation hit a snag when the $40,000 in cash, their evidence, was stolen. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite Louisville drug-fighting team," 18 June 2018 In May 2000, Purdue’s hope to conquer the arthritis market hit a snag when the FDA criticized an ad for OxyContin in the New England Journal of Medicine. Fred Schulte,, "How America got hooked on the deadly drug OxyContin," 18 June 2018 One day after his application for public campaign financing hit a snag, Republican gubernatorial contender Tim Herbst replaced his campaign treasurer with his campaign manager. Neil Vigdor,, "Tim Herbst Brings In New Campaign Manager, Replaces Treasurer Again," 8 June 2018 That creates a potential snag: people may travel more, making congestion worse. The Economist, "The market for driverless cars will head towards monopoly," 7 June 2018 As a federal deadline looms, a state effort to stabilize Obamacare by creating a fund to help insurers cover the most expensive claims may have hit a snag. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Maryland program to stabilize Obamacare hits snag over dispute about payments to insurers," 18 May 2018 Dead trees, also known as snags, provide nesting sites for owls, bats, and squirrels and offer a plethora of insect foods for woodpeckers. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "How To Attract Woodpeckers To Your Yard (And Why You'd Want To)," 13 June 2017 Pregame: Arizona Republic Barring a last-minute snag in negotiations the Suns will soon sign guard Devin Booker to a five-year, $158 million contract. azcentral, "Phoenix Suns NBA Summer League updates: Deandre Ayton, Josh Jackson headline roster," 6 July 2018 David Hamilton’s double-play starting backhanded snag in the first inning prevented what might have been a catastrophic beginning for starter Blair Henley and Texas. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "UT eliminated from College World Series by Florida," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the very least, Meghan and Harry should snag the parents-of-three an extra piece of cake or two. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kate Middleton Cracked a Hilarious Parenting Joke at Prince Louis's Christening," 9 July 2018 This year, shoppers can snag offers at Whole Foods Market. Doreen Christensen,, "Amazon has already kicked off hot Prime Day deals ahead of July 16 megasale," 5 July 2018 In New York, that kind of cash will snag you a nice apartment on the Upper East Side. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Claim a 15th-century Scottish castle for $5.1M," 28 June 2018 Saturday Breakfast Early risers can snag a counter seat at the compact S&J Café. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two days to explore Oconomowoc," 10 June 2018 Every Tuesday at AMC Theatres in Columbia, moviegoers can snag the deep discount by reserving seats at the box office, online or through the AMC app. Valerie Bonk, Howard County Times, "10 ways to beat the heat in Howard County this summer," 6 June 2018 Whatever the details, travelers can snag advertised round-trip fares for less than $100 on short routes. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "72-hour sale: Southwest fares fall below $100 round trip," 5 June 2018 The winner will snag the largely rural District 4 seat Terry is vacating to run for board chair. Samantha Swindler,, "Masked man doing martial arts tries to use ladies' room: Forest Grove police log," 14 May 2018 To celebrate the market's 17th year, customers can snag a complementary strawberry plant donated by Burton's Hawthorne Springs Greenhouse, while supplies last. Joan Rusek,, "Romaine calm, Geauga farmers' market opens May 12 in South Russell: Valley Views," 4 May 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

22 Oct 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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