variants: or snaphaunce \ˈsnapˌ han|(t)s, -hän| \ or less commonly snaphaan \|n \
plural -s

Definition of snaphance 

1a : a primitive flintlock

b : an old-time musket having such a lock

2 obsolete : a snap catch or spring catch

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for snaphance

Dutch snaphaan highway man, snaphance (influenced in meaning by snappen to snap and haan hammer of a gun), from Middle Dutch snaphaen highwayman, from snappen to snap, snatch + haen cock; akin to Old High German hani cock

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about snaphance

Statistics for snaphance

Look-up Popularity

Comments on snaphance

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!