\ 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

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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


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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

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 Boeing's efforts to get the plane back in the air hit another snag last month. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "American Airlines extends flight cancellations because of Boeing's 737 Max grounding," 14 July 2019 Porter re-tore his right ACL in March and seems poised to hit significant medical snags. Jeremy Woo,, "2019 NBA Draft: Ranking Best Bigs Available," 14 June 2019 Both agencies hit snags in obtaining complete criminal records from California, Gilbert police spokesman Jesse Sanger said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Sex offender found guilty in 2016 assault of girl at Gilbert pool," 30 Apr. 2018 INDICATIONS Eli Lilly snags marketing approval for hypoglycemia drug. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "A $43 Billion Biotech Now Has a Female CEO: Brainstorm Health," 25 July 2019 The unfolding plot snags a dozen main characters in a web of duplicity, human misery, betrayal and murder that Atkinson skillfully relates from multiple points of view — investigators, criminals, family members and victims alike. Bruce Desilva, Dallas News, "A vile conspiracy is taken down in long-awaited novel 'Big Sky'," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some of the long-term features likely won’t survive a move and would have to be recreated from scratch, snagging the flow of food to local restaurants and charities that feed people and families in need. Brooke Baitinger,, "Boca community garden forced to make way for Brightline station," 7 Aug. 2019 Idrizi was the most productive of the returnees, snagging 13 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown. Nick Kelly,, "Boston College’s Mike Bajakian has a new outlook," 6 Aug. 2019 To wit, here’s Jeff McNeil using the nets to help him make a catch: And here’s Gio Urshela snagging a ball while not barreling into folks in the seats. Jon Tayler,, "The Astros Seem to Know Something About Pitching No One Else Does," 6 Aug. 2019 But there is one big name the series couldn’t snag. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "All the Secret Ways Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral Pays Tribute to the Movie," 3 Aug. 2019 Nearly every American who wants to work and is able to has snagged a job by now, and those who lose their jobs, or decide to leave, probably won’t have a hard time finding another position. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The latest jobs report shows no evidence of a potential economic recession," 2 Aug. 2019 Shenise Johnson also contributed six points, while Erica McCall snagged two offensive rebounds and blocked a shot after chasing down a Dream player. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Wheeler's late layup propels Fever over Atlanta despite poor offensive performance," 1 Aug. 2019 Sophomore Trent Cloud had a notable play of the day, snagging a one-handed catch against tight coverage on the sideline. ... Fletcher Page,, "Cincinnati Bearcats training camp: Perry Young provides energy, Coby Bryant teaches & more," 1 Aug. 2019 Customers were understandably unhappy at the prospect of a deliverer snagging a few of their fries. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "More than a quarter of food delivery workers admit to eating people's food," 31 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.

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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

13 Aug 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 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.

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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

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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