\ ˈsnap How to pronounce snap (audio) \
snapped; snapping

Definition of snap

 (Entry 1 of 4)

intransitive verb

1a : to make a sudden closing of the jaws : seize something sharply with the mouth fish snapping at the bait
b : to grasp at something eagerly : make a pounce or snatch snap at any chance
2 : to utter sharp biting words : bark out irritable or peevish retorts
3a : to break suddenly with a sharp sound the twig snapped
b : to give way suddenly under emotional stress or strain He snapped under the pressure of the job.
4a : to make a sharp or crackling sound
b : to use your thumb and fingers to make a short sharp sound People snapped to the beat.
5 : to close or fit in place with an abrupt movement or sharp sound the lock snapped shut
6a : to move briskly or sharply snaps to attention
b : to undergo a sudden and rapid change (as from one condition to another) snap out of it snapped awake
7 : sparkle, flash eyes snapping with fury

transitive verb

1 : to seize with or as if with a snap of the jaws
2 : to take possession or advantage of suddenly or eagerly usually used with up shoppers snapping up bargains
3a : to retort to or interrupt curtly and irritably
b : to utter curtly or abruptly
4 : to break suddenly : break short or in two
5a : to cause to make a snapping sound snap a whip
b : to make a snapping sound by moving (thumb and finger) against one another
c : to put into or remove from a particular position by a sudden movement or with a sharp sound snap the lock shut
6a : to project with a snap snapped a spitball across the classroom
b : to put (a football) in play with a snap
c(1) : to take photographically snapping exclusive news picturesCurrent Biography
(2) : to take a snapshot of snapped the scenery



Definition of snap (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : an abrupt closing (as of the mouth in biting or of scissors in cutting)
2a archaic : a share of profits or booty
b : something that brings quick and easy profit or advantage
c : something that is easy and presents no problems : cinch
3 : a small amount : bit
4a : an act or instance of seizing abruptly : a sudden snatching at something
b : a quick short movement lithe snaps of its body— Barbara Taylor
c : a sudden sharp breaking
5a : a sound made by snapping something shut the book with a snap
b : a brief sharp and usually irritable speech or retort
6 : a sudden spell of weather a cold snap
7 : a catch or fastening that closes or locks with a click the snap of a bracelet
8 : a flat brittle cookie — compare gingersnap
9 : snapshot
10a : the condition of being vigorous in body, mind, or spirit : alertness, energy
b : a pleasing vigorous quality
11 football : the act of a center's putting the ball in play from its position on the ground by quickly passing it between the legs back to a teammate (such as a quarterback) : the act of snapping the ball The quarterback fumbled the snap. [=fumbled the ball when it was snapped to him]



Definition of snap (Entry 3 of 4)

: with a snap



Definition of snap (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : done, made, or carried through suddenly or without deliberation a snap judgment
2 : called or taken without prior warning a snap election
3 : fastening with a snap a snap lock
4 : unusually easy or simple a snap course

Examples of snap in a Sentence

Verb The branch snapped and fell to the ground. The earpiece of his glasses snapped off. She snapped the twig in two. The boy snapped the wing off his toy airplane. The bent tree snapped back into an upright position. I snapped the lid shut. She snapped the pieces together. She snapped her handbag shut. Noun I've trained the dog to come to me with a snap of my fingers. The snap of the bracelet broke. Adjective a snap course that even an idiot could pass See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Suzuki found out that a hard braking maneuver could snap the small metal piece that kept the brake pedal in place. Matt Crisara, Popular Mechanics, 10 Aug. 2022 Two zippered pockets provide storage for a charger and accessories, and snap closures to keep everything secure. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 9 Aug. 2022 Barrs’ snap count is being limited for the time being. Michael Lev, The Arizona Republic, 9 Aug. 2022 The base has four areas where glass bottles that hold your alcohol snap into place. Chris Hachey, BGR, 5 Aug. 2022 The Eagles also have one of the area’s top centers in Ricky Wolverton, who will snap for a new quarterback in Casey Bullock or Lucas Perusek in their preseason camp competition. Matt Goul, cleveland, 2 Aug. 2022 Add snap peas, peas, whipping cream and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until liquid starts to reduce and thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. People Staff,, 1 Aug. 2022 The Packers were nursing a delicate 24-21 lead and appeared fated for, at best, overtime, when the 2nd and goal snap inexplicably marked the end of the game. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 25 July 2022 Witnesses heard a loud bang or snap before a helicopter supporting firefighter operations near the community of Anderson separated and then crashed last month, killing the pilot. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, 23 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If there's a cold snap this winter, that Europeans may have to put on an extra sweater instead of the central heating, or take shorter showers. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 21 July 2022 An unforgettable image from 1997 is a snap of Banks running through the airport in a simple white T-shirt and gray sweatpants, carrying a stack of magazines. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 18 July 2022 As if the message was not already clear enough, the single art is a blurry snap of the singer throwing up the middle finger with glee. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 14 July 2022 Passing maneuvers are a snap, with the dash from 30 to 50 mph dropping in 3.0 seconds flat and jaunts from 50 to 70 mph taking 3.6 seconds. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 25 May 2022 While the photo was just a snap of him at work, fans were quick to point out the change in his physique in the comments. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, 23 May 2022 Once the screen was out, installing the filter was a snap. Anthony Karcz, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 But next-level basketball photos aren't a snap to get. Alex Martin, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 And with no thorns or choke, paring them is a snap; getting to the heart of the matter involves just a few tugs of the outer leaves, a slice of the conical top, and a quick trim of the base. Naoki Nitta, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Roy Robertson-Harris steamrolled center Corey Linsley on his first-quarter sack (4.9 seconds snap-to-throw). Rich Campbell,, 7 Sep. 2019 Investors look at Snap’s new user numbers as an important metric to gauge the company’s future growth. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 10 Aug. 2017 During the recession and in the years that followed, SNAP expanded to accommodate the increased number of people who needed food assistance. Greg Trotter,, 4 May 2017 Snap’s new technology, a 3-D lens, can also change and shift in response to physical objects. Katie Benner, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nope, Jordan Peele’s latest offering, slinks and slithers from the clutches of snap judgement. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 July 2022 On Wednesday, Khan reiterated his demand for the snap vote. Munir Ahmed, ajc, 20 July 2022 The main compartment includes a snap-closure laptop sleeve and there's a large front pocket too. Medea Giordano, Wired, 13 July 2022 The government also imposed snap bans on airlines' flight routes if carriers brought too many infected passengers into the city. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 12 July 2022 Yes, these men are allowed to have preferences — and as a recapper, I am allowed to make brutal snap judgments. Kristen Baldwin,, 12 July 2022 Growing up, my tangerine-colored caboodle was filled with snap bracelets, Lancôme Juicy Tubes, and a hair gem bedazzler that my sisters and I stamped onto each other's hair strands for middle school dances and roller rink birthday parties. Talia Gutierrez, Allure, 11 July 2022 So either a beautiful white fish en papillote, big, generous Greek salads, lots of fresh snap peas, or really anything in season. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 11 July 2022 Vegetables arranged on a platter of ice become something more than the sum of their parts — stalks of asparagus, cut radishes, blanched snap peas, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes on the vine. Globe Staff,, 7 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of snap


1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1583, in the meaning defined above


1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for snap


Dutch or Low German snappen; akin to Middle High German snappen to snap

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Snap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for snap


\ ˈsnap How to pronounce snap (audio) \
snapped; snapping

Kids Definition of snap

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to break or break apart suddenly and often with a cracking noise The branch snapped.
2 : to grasp or grasp at something suddenly with the mouth or teeth
3 : to speak or utter sharply or irritably "You keep quiet!" snapped Beezus.— Beverly Cleary, Henry Huggins
4 : to make or cause to make a sharp or crackling sound snap a whip
5 : to close or fit in place with a quick movement The lid snapped shut.
6 : to put into or remove from a position suddenly or with a cracking sound She snapped on the light.
7 : to act or be acted on with energy The soldier snapped to attention.
8 : to grasp at something eagerly I snapped at the chance.
9 : to get, take, or buy at once Customers were hoping to snap up a bargain.
10 : to close by means of snaps or fasteners
11 : to take a snapshot of
12 : to make a short sharp sound by quickly moving the middle finger against the thumb



Kids Definition of snap (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a sudden short sharp sound
2 : an act of moving the middle finger against the thumb to make a short sharp sound
3 : something that is easy and presents no problems That job is a snap.
4 : a sudden change in weather a cold snap
5 : a catch or fastening that closes or locks with a click the snap on a purse
6 : snapshot
7 : a short amount of time … over the hedge he jumped in a snap— Anna Sewell, Black Beauty



Kids Definition of snap (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : made suddenly or without careful thought a snap decision
2 : closing with a click or by means of a device that snaps a snap lock
3 : very easy

More from Merriam-Webster on snap

Nglish: Translation of snap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snap for Arabic Speakers


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