\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from snag


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for snag

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of snag in a Sentence

Noun I caught my sleeve on a snag and tore it. My sweater has a snag where I caught it on a nail. Verb 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?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the 15-year-old's beauty line rollout hit a snag after fans accused her of faking her nighttime routine. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Millie Bobby Brown explains video that showed her faking a skincare routine for her beauty brand," 13 Sep. 2019 Pack extra packaging materials, just in case the Saran wrap hits a snag. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "Can You Bring Food on a Plane? Your Guide to Airport Security and Food," 6 Sep. 2019 The virtual caucus plans Iowa and Nevada drafted have hit a snag. Eleanor Watson, Adam Brewster, CBS News, "Virtual caucus plans in Iowa and Nevada hit a snag," 29 Aug. 2019 But the contract talks hit a snag, Lue pulled his name out of the running and the Lakers hired Frank Vogel instead. Chris Fedor,, "Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue joining Los Angeles Clippers as lead assistant," 20 Aug. 2019 But there was a catch: His father’s health had hit a snag. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Fallbrook’s Jeremiah Kolone bidding for roster spot with Rams," 13 Aug. 2019 When a July meeting between Pompeo and his North Korean counterparts hit a snag, the North Korean negotiators asked Pompeo to step outside and called Trump directly instead, the officials added. Alex Ward, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump promised Kim Jong Un he’d sign an agreement to end the Korean War," 29 Aug. 2018 Engelbach says this also allows you to notice any snags — like stains or loose buttons — ahead of time and save you the hassle of dealing with it last minute. NBC News, "25 time-saving hacks that will add hours back to your week," 12 Aug. 2019 Nwora was a sure-fire draft pick who hoped to guarantee a first-round selection — but hit a snag when a minor calf injury prevented him from working out at the NBA combine. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "How Jordan Nwora made the decision to choose Louisville basketball over the NBA," 4 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Did the Patriots — who raised a sixth Super Bowl championship banner Sunday night — just catch another break in snagging such a premier talent? Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Will Antonio Brown conform to the Patriot Way?," 9 Sep. 2019 The strategy of snagging a TE early (Hunter Henry for $16) was a bit of a misstep considering the guys that went later went for an average of $5 cheaper. Si Fantasy Staff,, "Fantasy Football 2019: Auction League Mock Draft," 30 Aug. 2019 After averaging career lows with the Magic, Martin will head to Cleveland’s training camp in hopes of snagging one of the final roster spots and reviving his career. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers sign Jarell Martin to one-year contract," 16 Aug. 2019 Eilish is the youngest solo woman (age 17) at the time of snagging multiple Alternative Songs rulers. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, "Billie Eilish Joins Alanis Morissette & Sinead O'Connor as Only Solo Women With Multiple Alternative Songs No. 1s," 8 Aug. 2019 Hollins also had a catch about that long, snagging one on the right side from Sean Mannion. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Vikings rookie WRs improve after Mike Zimmer warning to get ‘rear end in gear’," 5 Aug. 2019 The company's amoral CEO, Vaughan du Clark (Steven Weber), is developing an advanced formula of the drink in hopes of snagging a lucrative contract with private military contractor Fillmore Graves (get it?). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: iZombie sets up strong fifth season, then whiffs the series finale," 5 Aug. 2019 British viewers got a jump on the Season 2 craze, which aired there weeks before hitting Amazon Prime in May — giving the show’s U.K. fans a leg up on snagging the jumpsuit Fleabag wears in the first episode. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "The 7 most pleasant surprises of the Emmy nominations, from ‘Schitt’s Creek’ nods to a sweep from ‘When They See Us’," 16 July 2019 Now, customers are searching shelves of their local Hannaford grocery store (Maine-Tex’s largest client) in hopes of snagging a crooked label. Erinne Magee,, "Maine mom uses grilled salsa to advocate for autism," 8 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about snag

Statistics for snag

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for snag

The first known use of snag was circa 1587

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for snag


How to pronounce snag (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on snag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snag

Spanish Central: Translation of snag

Nglish: Translation of snag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snag for Arabic Speakers

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).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!