\ 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

Now, the Ocean Cleanup has hit another snag: Its buoy appears to be breaking up. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Project to Clean Up the Pacific Garbage Patch Is Literally Falling Apart," 8 Jan. 2019 Although the police force hit a minor snag in October when one of the cameras caught on fire, the stated goal has been to provide one camera for every officer by the end of 2019. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "New York City cops will fly a drone over the New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square," 30 Dec. 2018 And Webb could still end up blown to smithereens or at the bottom of the ocean due to a launch failure, or drifting uselessly in space due to snags in its carefully choreographed deployment sequence. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Slips to 2020, and Astronomy Suffers," 27 Mar. 2018 The new arrangements hit a snag in February when DHL took over the work in partnership with another supply firm, QSL., "KFC Strips DHL of Some Chicken Deliveries After UK Disruptions," 8 Mar. 2018 The biggest snag is likely to be Russia, the world’s largest producer and senior partner of OPEC. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "OPEC and Russia Prepare for Clash Over Oil Output Cuts," 9 Nov. 2018 Before the thick beard and the blond ’do, before the collage of hundreds of tattoos covered his body, before the Spiderman-like, three-finger snag that broke the Internet, Odell Beckham Jr. had a pink velvet blazer. Jamie Lisanti,, "Fashionable 50," 10 July 2018 The only snag that night was that somewhere in the postgame celebration, the ball from that last out was lost. Mike Malloy,, "JJ Schwarz could return to bolster Gators during CWS," 17 June 2018 Help For Bumped Trips and Other Snafus A travel agent may be able to help resolve the snags that can happen on any trip, just by picking up the phone and calling them. New York Times, "5 Perks Travel Agents Offer Beyond Booking Your Trip," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One of those momentous milestones included Monsta X snagging a slot on this year's Jingle Ball tour. Jeff Benjamin, Teen Vogue, "Monsta X on Proving Themselves in the United States and Meeting Some of Pop's Biggest Names," 26 Dec. 2018 Along with a some pretty intense scenes, the trailer also shows a few of those fun moments, including the pooch snagging an entire steak from a family's barbecue. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The 'A Dog's Way Home' Trailer Will Make You Ugly Cry," 16 Oct. 2018 That awareness has shown up in the last six quarters, in which the 2017 seventh-round pick has snagged the first three touchdowns of his NFL career. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "As David Moore, Doug Baldwin dazzle in London, Seahawks’ receiving corps starts to take shape," 15 Oct. 2018 From West Palm Beach, snag one-way fares to Atlanta for $78 and to Baltimore/Washington, D.C. for $113. Doreen Christensen,, "Southwest Airlines has cheap summer fares starting at $57," 9 July 2018 However, if your wallet is still feeling the effects of holiday shopping, there are plenty of smaller items to snag. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "Anthropologie Is Having A 25% Off Home Sale," 7 Jan. 2019 The gist: Sehnert was able to snag the handle @carolynbessette three years ago and make the account a thoughtful ode to the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s style. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "For Rare Images of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Follow This Tribute Instagram," 26 Dec. 2018 This is no doubt one of the best times to snag some smart home tech, either as a gift or to add to your own lineup. Emily Heller, Curbed, "Black Friday 2018: Best home tech deals to watch for," 24 Nov. 2018 High-concept, high-craft Plenty more happens in The Guilty, all from this sterile-looking call center: Asger tries coordinating police chases to snag suspect vehicles. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "The Guilty review: Even in 2018, a simple phone can be utterly thrilling," 21 Oct. 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

12 Feb 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 \

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

Comments on snag

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a servile follower or underling

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