\ 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

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


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And there’s a bigger fear taking shape: that this big permitting snag could scare companies from investing in such offshore wind projects. Jon Chesto,, "Feds’ delay puts crucial tax credit in jeopardy for Vineyard Wind," 14 Aug. 2019 This means that every vote cast weekly has the potential of ensuring a fan's favorite snags that coveted final spot in the band. Billboard Radio China, Billboard, "K-Pop Show 'Produce 101' and JOOX Streaming Platform Bring Show to Southeast Asia," 10 July 2019 The giant snag in power-grid quality and the sharing of cheap and clean energy may be the easy part. WSJ, "Plugging in the Wind Is a Complicated Issue," 28 June 2019 The only potential snag to be aware of is that this offer is valid only at dedicated Kiehl's locations and its own website, Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "The Kiehl's Friends and Family Sale Is Happening Now," 23 Apr. 2019 First-year Seahawk Jaron Brown made the other notable touchdown snag during Monday’s steamy morning practice, beating free safety Tedric Thompson deep and hauling in another accurate Wilson delivery. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Impressions from day four of Seahawks training camp," 30 July 2018 Beto O'Rourke: No one puts Beto in a corner The former congressman hit a snag in the first debate after sparring with Castro. NBC News, "What 2020 Democrats learned from their first debate and how some are sharpening their attacks for the second," 30 July 2019 The vote came after a dramatic and combative hours-long debate that hit several snags due to long-standing House rules that prohibit any personal attacks on the president. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "'Our words matter': Indiana's Rep. Susan Brooks votes to condemn Trump's tweets," 16 July 2019 The bride and groom’s wedding hit a snag when a massive power outage left parts of New York City in darkness. Char Adams,, "Couple Marries in 'Unbelievable' Wedding During NYC Blackout: They Made 'Lemonade Out of Lemons'," 15 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Searchers said Allen knew how to swim and was wearing a life jacket, but the strong current was too much for her and the water was littered with tree debris that snagged her. oregonlive, "Body of woman recovered from Willamette River," 4 Sep. 2019 In a matchup against Bethune-Cookman, Jackson State was able to snag a 15–7 lead in the third quarter before letting the game slip away. Khadrice Rollins,, "Jackson State Mascot Earns Personal Foul Penalty After Beautiful Touchdown Catch," 1 Sep. 2019 As the ball came toward wide receiver Jaelen Strong, Mitchell came up the field quickly to try and snag it., "Terrance Mitchell: How he looked on Day 9 of Cleveland Browns training camp," 5 Aug. 2019 Never a bad time to check out this particular band wagon and snag yourself a super versatile kitchen gadget. Jess Grey, WIRED, "Cameras, Fans, TVs, and an Instant Pot Are on Sale Right Now," 27 July 2019 The good news is, there are plenty of ways to snag her colorful look. Megan Stein, Country Living, "‘Flip or Flop’ Star Christina El Moussa Is ‘Up 22 Pounds’ at 31 Weeks Pregnant," 15 July 2019 So, being able to snag a few for free is a win in our book. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Free Natural and Clean Beauty Products from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale," 12 July 2019 With her eyes locked on the target, Nico dashes after it before leaping and trying to snag it out of the air. Javonte Anderson,, "Chicago opens Calumet Bark, first Park District dog park south of 18th Street," 27 June 2019 My travails to snag it — risking it being seized by customs, overpaying sellers, weathering formula changes — surely rival those of the Arthurian knights who searched for their own Holy Grail in medieval lore. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The “best” lipstick probably won’t change your life — but the search for it can," 12 Dec. 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.

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

Dictionary Entries near snag

snack table




snag boat



Statistics for snag

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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



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

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

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


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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!