1 of 2


chiefly Scotland : quick, acute
chiefly Scotland : keen, piercing
a snell wind smote usScotsman
chiefly Scotland : grievous, severe


2 of 2


: a short line (as of gut) by which a fishhook is attached to a longer line

Examples of snell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Pull it all the way through firmly to seat the snell knot properly behind the eye. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 15 May 2024 The alternative is to also use a spinner/bottom bouncer setup with a snell float as shown here. Nicole Stone, Outdoor Life, 15 May 2024 Start by connecting the hook to the leader via a snell knot or Palomar knot. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 26 Oct. 2023
Learn to snell a hook for better bait fishing success The snell is a bit of an odd knot. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 15 May 2024

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

Word History



Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German snel bold, agile


origin unknown

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of snell was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near snell

Cite this Entry

“Snell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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