\ 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 Whether that’s going on the rooftop to snap pics with the skyline in the background, a secret vacay, or an at-home shoot these cool kids are making the most out of what they’ve been given. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Dressed Black Creatives On Instagram This Week," 10 July 2020 The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.5%, threatening to snap a five-day winning streak. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Stocks fall as virus outbreaks dim hopes for rebound," 7 July 2020 The Colts seemed only too happy to snap up Rivers in March, signing him to a one-year, $25 million contract to have Rivers rejoin head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. Mark Inabinett |, al, "After aggravating season, Philip Rivers gets new start with Colts," 5 July 2020 Walk through the Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park and snap a few family photos. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Check out these family-friendly things to do in Grapevine this summer," 23 June 2020 But this plastic is durable with a protective nonslip exterior and snap-tight silicone strap. Rachel King, Fortune, "The must-have gear, gadgets, and accessories for safer summer travel," 3 July 2020 Deb Sandidge shares tips on how you can get inspired to plan the ultimate summer road trip and snap your adventures along the way. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Step Up Your Instagram Game This Summer With These 5 Expert Photo Tips," 30 June 2020 This South Florida specialty is harvested from October to May for the claws only—fishermen snap off a claw and toss the crab back into the water to regenerate a new one. Julia Rutland, Southern Living, "Your Biggest Crab Cooking Questions Answered," 29 June 2020 New Horizons flew about 4,800 miles above Pluto’s surface—close enough to snap detailed pictures of the dwarf planet. Popular Science, "Frigid Pluto may have had a toasty start," 29 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To top it off, the resort falls on Disney World’s monorail, making reaching Magic Kingdom and Epcot a snap. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "25 Resorts in the U.S. That Are Perfect for Families," 8 July 2020 For a more subtle look, check out the snap cuff long sleeve T-shirt ($27.99). Hannah Drown, cleveland, "Chic Cleveland Browns apparel, designed for women by Erin Andrews, on sale for 30% off," 6 July 2020 In 2019, Bozeman took every offensive snap at left guard for the Ravens, who posted the league’s best regular-season record at 14-2 and set an NFL record for rushing yards in a season. Mark Inabinett |, al, "You could own Bradley Bozeman’s RV," 29 June 2020 This Libman angle broom comes with its own snap-on dustpan and is perfect for cleaning messes off of hardwood, linoleum, and other smooth ground surfaces. Popular Science, "The best brooms for conquering any mess," 17 June 2020 His Sauvignon Blanc, by its spice and snap, shows why the varietal has emerged as Heritage Oak’s flagship wine. Mike Dunne,, "Heritage Oak is a Lodi winery rooted in adaptation," 15 June 2020 Channeling California's iconic Beverly Hills Hotel is a snap with Wallshoppe's peel-and-stick tropical wallpaper designed in partnership with interior designer Nathan Turner. Elizabeth Sweet, Better Homes & Gardens, "Sunny Removable Wallpaper Patterns for a Fast Summer Room Refresh," 29 June 2020 The official stats show McCoy played one snap in that 16-13 loss. Michael Casagrande |, al, "Alot’s happened in the 5,000 days since Alabama last lost to Tennessee," 29 June 2020 The preseason has become each year increasingly meaningless, with some star players not even taking a snap. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "What does the canceled Hall of Fame Game mean for the NFL preseason?," 26 June 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 Expect the Cowboys to use a much higher percentage of split-safety coverage along with more pre-snap disguise from the Cowboys defense. John Owning, Dallas News, "3 Cowboys defenders who could thrive under DC Mike Nolan: Is LB Jaylon Smith due for bounce-back season?," 1 July 2020 Rather than making a snap decision about a purchase or investment, wait several days until all the facts are in. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 28, 2020: Aries, don’t overreact to little things; Taurus, put new ventures on back burner," 28 June 2020 Dressing is a snap thanks to magnetic closures at the shoulders that conveniently expand the neck opening. Mark Heim |, al, "Amazon’s ‘Big Style Sale’ is on, deals up to 50 percent off Reebok, Fossil, Tommy Hilfiger and more," 25 June 2020 But the very features that are meant to make technology easier and faster to navigate—like shortcuts and auto-complete functions—can also encourage users to make snap judgements and put marginalized populations at risk. Anne Quito, Quartz, "The push to redefine “good design” amid the Black Lives Matter movement," 24 June 2020 His presence could enable Dallas to disguise its looks to constantly change the pre- and post-snap pictures for opposing QBs. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: What kind of impact would a do-it-all safety like Jamal Adams have in the Cowboys’ defense?," 22 June 2020 Whereas Kingsbury’s Air-Raid system calls for a number of pre-snap checks, Kaepernick is more of a read-and-react player. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Colin Kaepernick NFL team odds: Arizona Cardinals listed among possibilities," 17 June 2020 Discipline and staying away from a tidal wave of pre-snap penalties is something any good coaching staff can implement even early in the season. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Can the Browns come to rescue of Cleveland sports fans? New idea for defensive end," 7 June 2020 Notice that with the strong safety creeping down near the box, Aaron Rodgers immediately focuses on the weak side of the Dragon post-snap. John Owning, Dallas News, "Cowboys film notebook: Breaking down Amari Cooper’s sluggo mastery and a concept Mike McCarthy may use a lot," 5 June 2020

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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Learn More about snap

Statistics for snap

Last Updated

19 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Snap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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