snap

verb
\ ˈsnap \
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

snap

noun

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]

snap

adverb

Definition of snap (Entry 3 of 4)

: with a snap

snap

adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Whether intentionally or not, a photographer present at training managed to snap a picture of Southgate's notes, which appeared to show a first XI with secondary options for each position. SI.com, "Image of Gareth Southgate's Notes Suggest Man City & Spurs Stars Will Miss England's Panama Clash," 21 June 2018 As Mass ended, rows of white figures emerged from the cathedral, occasionally turning around to snap pictures of the archbishop. Brian Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "‘La Procesión’ lights way to honor city’s patron saint," 13 June 2018 When invited to the super secret listening party for Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s new album Kids See Ghost, Butler could be found snapping a quick picture with none other than Ariana Grande and West himself. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "How Kanye West Made Ross Butler, Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson Internet Famous," 9 June 2018 Damian Lillard had 34 points and eight assists, and C.J. McCollum scored 31 for Portland, which committed 19 turnovers — five more than its average — and had a three-game winning streak snapped. Murray Evans, The Seattle Times, "George nets 36, Westbrook 29 as Thunder tops Blazers 123-114," 22 Jan. 2019 He's often caught on camera taking calls and snapping pictures while out and about. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Says Giving Up Social Media For Her Royal Role Was "Very Freeing"," 19 Oct. 2018 Devonte obliged and photographers snapped pictures as tears streamed down his cheeks. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family," 6 Sep. 2018 In mid-August, Ashley and Cara were spotted together at London's Heathrow Airport where a paparazzo snapped pictures of the two actors apparently kissing. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Ashley Benson Won't Confirm or Deny Cara Delevingne Dating Rumors," 25 Aug. 2018 Three days after the alleged attack, a Baltimore Sun photographer snapped a picture of him during a demonstration at McKeldin Square. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "'I only ever wanted justice,' says 18-year-old allegedly assaulted by Baltimore officer," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Prince Charles' birthday celebrations continue this weekend with the release of some new behind-the-scenes snaps of the royal and his family. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Stuns in Outtakes from Prince Charles' Birthday Portraits," 18 Nov. 2018 Ashley Graham schooled an Instagram user this week after sharing a series of racy snaps. Fox News, "Ashley Graham defends 'cellulite and rolls' to body-shaming Instagram troll," 30 Aug. 2018 Selena posted a series of Instagram snaps on August 6, showing off the tee in not one, but two different images. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Wore a Tie-Dye T-Shirt on Instagram," 7 Aug. 2018 So there was no sign of that on Tuesday, when the cornerbacks typically employed in bump-and-run coverage techniques for as much as 80% of the snaps in the real games went through the whole practice playing it soft. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Ravens bound to feel the heat of spotlight amid franchise's unrest," 12 June 2018 The decision wasn’t unexpected, according to analysts, who say what likely prompted Mr. Netanyahu to call for snap elections was his desire to pre-empt any indictment against him—which is possibly the single biggest threat to his re-election bid. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Netanyahu Bets on Security, Foreign Policy to Win Snap Israeli Election, but Victory No Sure Thing," 25 Dec. 2018 Prep with Pinterest Avoid buyer's remorse by taking some snaps of your home and uploading them to Pinterest or another photo hosting service. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Buy a Souvenir You Won't Regret," 19 Sep. 2018 Ahead, take a look through a selection of those special snaps. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "See the best (and most tear-inducing) moments from the royal wedding," 19 May 2018 The Sam linebacker role is going the way of the VCR or the flip cell phone, though, playing maybe one-third of the defensive snaps these days. Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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, chicagotribune.com, "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

With the new League-5 Star government, investors may be relieved that Italy won’t face a snap election just months after a parliamentary vote in March. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italian Political Parties 5 Star and League Strike Deal on Coalition Government," 31 May 2018 In order to provoke a snap vote, the chancellor could call a vote of confidence in parliament and engineer its failure. Bertrand Benoit, WSJ, "Germany Faces Unprecedented Path in Fight Over Migration Deal," 2 July 2018 The outcome of the snap vote agreement hinges on the Slovak National Party, whose Chairman Andrej Danko said on Monday the party was ready for early elections if needed. Radoslav Tomek, Bloomberg.com, "Slovaks Tilt Toward Snap Vote as Ruling Party Sets Ultimatum," 12 Mar. 2018 From graduations, weddings and family vacations to those long, lazy days sleeping in late and running through sprinklers— ’tis the season to get super snap-happy! Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Easy ways to share and organize digital photos," 5 June 2018 Whatever happens, Shuri will play a major role regardless as one of the few heroes left after Thanos's snap decision. David Betancourt, chicagotribune.com, "What's next for the Black Panther after 'Avengers: Infinity War'?," 1 May 2018 Plus, the papers come in a roll that's secured in the little snap tube, so it can get beat up in your bag without ruining the product. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "In Defense of "Festival Beauty," Even for People Who Hate Music Festivals," 25 Apr. 2018 Turkey's weak opposition is scrambling to mount a meaningful challenge against strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with just nine weeks to prepare for snap elections. Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Turkey's weak opposition scrambles to challenge Erdogan," 19 Apr. 2018 Trump's snap decision — and the seemingly short time frame for starting negotiations — also has observers worried. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Will Trump’s North Korea gamble actually pay off?," 12 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of snap

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1583, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for snap

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about snap

Dictionary Entries near snap

snakish

snaky

snallygaster

snap

snapback

snap back

snap bean

Statistics for snap

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snap

The first known use of snap was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for snap

snap

verb

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

snap

noun

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

snap

adjective

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

: done or made suddenly or without careful thought

snap

verb
\ ˈsnap \
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

snap

noun

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

snap

adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on snap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snap

Spanish Central: Translation of snap

Nglish: Translation of snap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snap for Arabic Speakers

Comments on snap

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

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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