\ 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 upshoppers 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
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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s her #MirrorAffirmations persona with a Valley girl voice and endless positive vibes, and her #Southernbelleinsults identity dishes out unsolicited advice before snapping her church fan. Jessica Cruel, Allure, "Keke Palmer Shares the Makeup Products She Uses For Her Power Beauty Look," 24 Feb. 2020 Lowery was already on the summit snapping photos of Marines proudly raising the American flag. Thom Patterson, CNN, "75 years ago today, US Marines raised the American flag over Iwo Jima. Here's the inside story," 23 Feb. 2020 After his 11-point spree, Antetokounmpo lofted a pass along baseline to Middleton for a jumper then followed it up by snapping a pass to Wesley Matthews in the corner for a three. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 119, 76ers 98: Joel Embiid is the 'best player in the world?' Not on this night.," 22 Feb. 2020 This isn't the first time Luna's been snapped making an irritated face or hiding behind her mom while the pair are walking down the street. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen's Daughter Luna Has the Most Skeptical, Relatable Reaction to Paparazzi," 21 Feb. 2020 There's a nice pop from behind as the GT's seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle snaps through the gears. David Beard, Car and Driver, "2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Is All About That Base," 19 Feb. 2020 Atlanta Falcons long snapper Josh Harris Harris handled the long-snapping duties for the Falcons for the eighth season in 2019. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Auburn’s 2019 NFL roundup: Injuries strike top Tigers," 17 Feb. 2020 Steve had a small camera and snapped a photo of me holding up my first rabbit by the feet. Anchorage Daily News, "A happy hunter’s photo on social media doesn’t always show the entire picture," 1 Feb. 2020 Brief pulses heated the carbon to more than 3000 kelvins (about 2700°C), snapping the bonds between carbon atoms. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Electricity turns garbage into graphene," 27 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the snap while Simmons backpedals, Fields looks left and never moves his head. cleveland, "NFL Draft 2020: Top safeties who could help the Cleveland Browns secondary -- Film Review," 6 Feb. 2020 The final six snaps of their seven-play drive gained 9, 16, 11, 17, 11 and 15 yards. Eric Branch,, "Chiefs deny 49ers their first title in 25 years, win Super Bowl LIV 31-20," 2 Feb. 2020 With Seattle at the New England 1-yard line and less than one minute to play, Butler intercepted a pass at the goal line on the Seahawks’ final snap of the game. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Alabama Roots: 10 Super Bowl stars," 1 Feb. 2020 Earlier this week, a fan Twitter account unearthed a throwback snap of the athletic guard and Beyonce’s R&B group Destiny's Child, taken sometime in the early 2000s. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Beyonce Remembers Kobe Bryant: 'You Are Deeply Missed'," 30 Jan. 2020 More generally, the imprint of the IPTA is all over his aesthetic; his dialogue, for instance, has the snap and expository tone of the stage. Ratik Asokan, The New York Review of Books, "A New Look At Ritwik Ghatak’s Bengal," 25 Jan. 2020 Yara Shahidi also shared a snap of herself in a head-to-toe cranberry-coloured look from the gender-neutral clothing line on Instagram. Sara Radin,, "For A Select Few, Beyoncé’s Inaugural Ivy Park x Adidas Collab Has Already Landed," 16 Jan. 2020 The the mother of four gave fans a better view of the intricate decorations, sharing snaps of a topiary maze in the hallway, an elaborate cake with a giant grinning Cheshire cat and a bouncy house in the backyard. Georgia Slater,, "Chicago Is 2! See Her Sweet Birthday Wishes from Mom Kim Kardashian and Grandma Kris Jenner," 15 Jan. 2020 LeBron James, possibly more than any player past or present, has the kind of power that allows him to adjust the rhythms of the league with the snap of a finger, Thanos-style. Jason Parham, Wired, "The Warriors and the Myth of the Silicon Valley-Driven Team," 13 Jan. 2020 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,, "5 observations from rewatching the Bears’ Week 1 loss to the Packers, including Mitch Trubisky’s moment of truth and the defense’s sack machine," 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, "Snap CEO Evan Spiegel Makes A Case For Slow User Growth," 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,, "Fewer people going hungry in Cook County, but many still need help," 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, "To Stay Ahead of Facebook, Snap Rolls Out 3-D Features for Messaging," 18 Apr. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And the 49ers’ 2018 second-round pick won’t play a snap Sunday in Super Bowl LIV against the Chiefs. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ Dante Pettis inactive for Super Bowl LIV," 2 Feb. 2020 The same anti-establishment forces could help Zelenskiy consolidate power in snap parliamentary elections on July 21. Washington Post, "Legacy of Ukrainian Revolution Rides on Election Year," 23 Sep. 2019 On Friday, two days before Bosa played 63 of 66 snaps in a 29-22 loss to the Falcons, he was asked how he’s feeling given his rising snap total in his first NFL season. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ Nick Bosa hasn’t broken down, but what about him wearing down?," 17 Dec. 2019 But the Big 12 crew ruled that the center had committed a snap infraction, which resulted in the play being called dead, and Baylor retaining possession. Mike Finger,, "With football officials under fire, who wants this job?," 15 Oct. 2019 Tonight: Get into one last barbecue! CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Take your time and do not make snap judgments., "Most read on," 30 Oct. 2019 And their overall efficiency helps keep the offense on the field by contributing to third-down conversions, which keeps the defense off the field, and their snap count respectable, which equates to rest. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Despite challenges Dolphins’ O-line has faced, unit shows progress in encouraging performance | Commentary," 29 Sep. 2019 Suddenly, the nonsense fades away as the audience ponders snap judgments, false assumptions and the nature of love. Matthew J. Palm,, "Some of Jane Austen’s magic is missing in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ adaptation | Review," 22 Sep. 2019 Just like humans, artificial intelligence is guilty of making snap judgments that are biased or inaccurate. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "ImageNet Roulette Highlights Bias in A.I. See For Yourself," 17 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for snap

Last Updated

28 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Snap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for snap


How to pronounce snap (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of snap

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to break quickly with a short, sharp sound
: to move into a specified position with a short, sharp sound
: to close (something) with a fastener and especially with a snap



English Language Learners Definition of snap (Entry 2 of 3)

: a sudden, short, sharp sound caused by something breaking or moving into a new position
: the act of snapping your fingers or the sound made when you snap your fingers
US : a device that fastens something by closing or locking with a short, sharp sound especially : a set of two metal or plastic pieces that fit tightly together when you press them

English Language Learners Definition of snap (Entry 3 of 3)

: done or made suddenly or without careful thought


\ 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
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on snap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snap

Spanish Central: Translation of snap

Nglish: Translation of snap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snap for Arabic Speakers

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