snap

1 of 4

verb

snapped; snapping

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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.
4
a
: 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
6
a
: 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
3
a
: to retort to or interrupt curtly and irritably
b
: to utter curtly or abruptly
4
: to break suddenly : break short or in two
5
a
: 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
6
a
: 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

2 of 4

noun

1
: an abrupt closing (as of the mouth in biting or of scissors in cutting)
2
a
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
4
a
: an act or instance of seizing abruptly : a sudden snatching at something
b
: a quick short movement
lithe snaps of its bodyBarbara Taylor
c
: a sudden sharp breaking
5
a
: 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
10
a
: 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

3 of 4

adverb

: with a snap

snap

4 of 4

adjective

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Kramer, Russell and the kids were also snapped at the airport on their travels. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 10 July 2024 Large branches of trees will snap, and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 8 July 2024
Noun
Right after the June event in Grapevine, Texas, Lively shared snaps to her Instagram Stories, comparing the cast to one of her previous projects The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 10 July 2024 Macron responded by ordering a snap election and a vote nationwide. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, 10 July 2024
Adverb
Roy Robertson-Harris steamrolled center Corey Linsley on his first-quarter sack (4.9 seconds snap-to-throw). Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, 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, 10 Aug. 2017
Adjective
The snap parliamentary election, called after his center-right party’s defeat in the European Parliament elections, resulted in a surprise victory for the left-wing New Popular Front alliance. Abid Ali, CNBC, 10 July 2024 After a shattering defeat in May’s European Parliament election, his decision to call a snap election has, at least partially, backfired. Joseph Ataman, CNN, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for snap 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'snap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of snap was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near snap

Cite this Entry

“Snap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snap. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

snap

1 of 3 verb
snapped; snapping
1
a
: 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
snapped at the chance to travel
c
: to take possession of at once
usually used with up
snap up a bargain
2
: to speak sharply or irritably
snap at a questioner
3
a
: to break or break apart suddenly especially with a sharp sound
the twig snapped
snapped the bone in two
b
: to give way or cause to give way suddenly under stress
the rope snapped
c
: to bring to a sudden end
snapped the opposing team's winning streak
4
: to make or cause to make a sharp or crackling sound
snap a whip
5
a
: to close or fit in place with a quick movement
the lid snapped shut
b
: to put into or remove from a position by a sudden movement or with a snapping sound
snap off a switch
c
: to close by snaps or fasteners
snapped up the snowsuit
6
a
: to move briskly or sharply
snapped to attention
b
: to undergo a sudden and rapid change (as from one condition to another)
snapped out of his bad mood
c
: to put (a football) in play especially by passing or handing backward between the legs
d
: to take a snapshot of

snap

2 of 3 noun
1
: a quick closing (as of the mouth in biting or of scissors in cutting)
especially : a biting or snatching with the teeth or jaws
2
: something that is easy and presents no problems : cinch
3
: a small amount : bit
don't care a snap
4
a
: a sudden snatching at something
b
: a quick short movement
c
: a sudden sharp breaking
5
: a sound made by snapping something
shut the book with a snap
6
: a sudden spell of harsh weather
a cold snap
7
: a catch or fastening that closes or locks with a click
snap of a bracelet
8
: a thin brittle cookie
9
10
: smartness of movement or speech : energy
11
: an act or instance of snapping a football

snap

3 of 3 adjective
1
: made suddenly or without careful thought
a snap judgment
2
: shutting or fastening with a click or by means of a device that snaps
a snap lock
3
: unusually easy
a snap course

More from Merriam-Webster on snap

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