snap

verb
\ 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

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

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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

As several of the Chargers noted in recent days, that’s life in the unrelenting NFL, where adversity is always just a snap away and the margin between success and failure so often is goal-line thin. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers begin 60th attempt to win a title, starting with the Colts," 7 Sep. 2019 Linganore suffered a 17-14 last-second loss to Franklin in last year’s Class 3A state championship game that snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Lancers. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Football: Liberty falls to visiting Linganore in season opener," 7 Sep. 2019 Palmetto limbs snapped Thursday and littered the sidewalks in this tourist town on Friday morning. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Now that Hurricane Dorian hit the coast, what is it doing to Myrtle Beach, Outer Banks?," 6 Sep. 2019 Hoyer, 33, didn’t play a snap in either the third or fourth preseason game. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots had no need for Brian Hoyer, and other thoughts on the roster cuts," 31 Aug. 2019 Salvini, who was deputy prime minister and whose party has been surging in the polls, had demanded snap elections and said that the 5-Star-League coalition government was not working amid increasing tensions between coalition parties. Fox News, "Italy’s 5-Star makes deal with left-wingers to avoid elections; nationalist Salvini ousted," 29 Aug. 2019 After the Oilers couldn’t muster any offense, the Gators benefited from another high Huntington Beach snap that resulted in a 12-yard punt setting them up at the Huntington Beach 27. Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach football can’t hold onto early lead, drops opener to Green Valley," 23 Aug. 2019 Never a neck-snapping start, the acceleration gets quite forceful with a heavy foot. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV: a royal rite of passage," 2 Aug. 2019 At wildlife tourist attractions, animals like sloths and anacondas are often beaten into submission before photos are snapped, and the critters are usually captured as babies and held in inhumane conditions. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Sea turtles, hummingbird charms, and other souvenirs not to buy on vacation," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gurley played 53 snaps, Brown 21 and Darrell Henderson two. Adam Ronis, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2019: Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups," 10 Sep. 2019 In fact, Kelly played the most snaps, 85, of any Steelers player. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Rivers rolls on for Chargers while young AFC QBs nurse injuries," 9 Sep. 2019 Samuel played 60 of 68 snaps, which led all 49ers wide receivers, but had just three catches for 17 yards. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "Examining the warts in 49ers’ inelegant season-opening victory," 9 Sep. 2019 After 208 consecutive regular-season starts at quarterback, Philip Rivers didn't take a snap during the Los Angeles Chargers' preseason games, then got on the field and made sure consecutive start No. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "State NFL Roundup: Philip Rivers, Chargers open with OT victory," 9 Sep. 2019 On fourth-and-goal from the half-yard line, Ehlinger took the snap, tucked the ball tight and took off right. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Missed opportunities cost Texas chance to make early-season statement," 8 Sep. 2019 This year, the defense should be ferocious from the first snap, with the biggest improvement coming on offense — specifically, the passing game. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "The Patriots will look different, but still terrific, on Sunday vs. the Steelers," 6 Sep. 2019 Look out for which quarterback will receive more snaps throughout the year, as Andries was the main quarterback last season, while Haynes was the more efficient passer. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "2019 season preview: Indiana state colleges," 4 Sep. 2019 And if Harbaugh and Gattis want to give him a few snaps here and there, that’s just fine. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football flashes the blueprint for Big Ten title team in opener," 1 Sep. 2019

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, chicagotribune.com, "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, 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

South Mountain sent the snap way over the quarterback’s head, but Smith ran it down and ran towards the sideline and up to the end zone for the touchdown. Staff, azcentral, "Arizona high school football Week 3 roundup: Perry outlasts Red Mountain in 4OT Thriller," 6 Sep. 2019 However, the joke helps show which journalists and political figures blindly tweet snap reactions without working to verify information, some argued. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "The 'Gorilla Channel' is fake, but some Twitter users still thought Trump watched it," 5 Jan. 2018 In the 28 European Union countries, eight of the most recent legislative elections were snap polls, called before the end of the normal parliamentary term. The Economist, "Are Western democracies becoming ungovernable?," 1 Aug. 2019 Do your own fact-checking, and be patient when urged to make a snap decision. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: July 10, 2019," 10 July 2019 But talking to Wynn candidly opened a window on what that’s actually like for a trans woman coming out today, before the snap judgment of thousands of strangers in the putrefying swamps of Twitter and Reddit. Katherine Cross, The Verge, "The Oscar Wilde of YouTube fights the alt-right with decadence and seduction," 24 Aug. 2018 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

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

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

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Learn More about snap

Dictionary Entries near snap

snakish

snaky

snallygaster

snap

snapback

snap back

snap bean

Statistics for snap

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snap

The first known use of snap was in 1530

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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 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

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

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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

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