noun, often attributive
\ ˈsnō How to pronounce snow (audio) \

Definition of snow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : precipitation in the form of small white ice crystals formed directly from the water vapor of the air at a temperature of less than 32°F (0°C)
b(1) : a descent or shower of snow crystals
(2) : a mass of fallen snow crystals
2 : something resembling snow: such as
a : a dessert made of stiffly beaten whites of eggs, sugar, and fruit pulp apple snow
b : a usually white crystalline substance that condenses from a fluid phase as snow does ammonia snow
c slang
(1) : cocaine
(2) : heroin
d : small transient light or dark spots on a television screen


snowed; snowing; snows

Definition of snow (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to fall in or as snow

transitive verb

1 : to cause to fall like or as snow
2a : to cover, shut in, or imprison with or as if with snow
b : to deceive, persuade, or charm glibly
3 : to whiten like snow


biographical name
\ ˈsnō How to pronounce Snow (audio) \

Definition of Snow (Entry 3 of 3)

C(harles) P(ercy) 1905–1980 Baron Snow English novelist and physicist

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from snow


snowless \ ˈsnō-​ləs How to pronounce snowless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of snow in a Sentence

Noun Snow fell softly on the town. The mountains were blanketed with snow. She took a walk in the snow. We haven't had much snow this year. She went out to shovel the snow. Soon the warm spring sun will melt the winter snows. the snows of the Rocky Mountains A light snow was falling. Verb easily snowed by her glib talk the years had snowed his hair to a silvery white, making it difficult at first to recognize her old high school crush
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The precipitation led to numerous reports of power outages due to the heavy wet snow bringing down trees on top of power lines. Max Golembo, ABC News, "Cold blast moves east Friday, but huge warm up on the way," 21 Feb. 2020 The fun continues back in Milwaukee, even after the snow is gone. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's only black ski club aims to get more people on the slopes," 20 Feb. 2020 In London’s version, Buck gets the top job by killing his predecessor in a vicious fight, crushing his rival’s forelegs with bites before slashing his throat to cover the snow with crimson blood. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "Tame version of Jack London’s adventure ‘The Call of the Wild’: mush ado about nothing," 17 Feb. 2020 Throughout the night, a swarm of locusts descended on the game, buzzing around the players and getting buried beneath the snow. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Novelty of outdoor games does not wear thin with Kings," 14 Feb. 2020 With the help of friends, Mr. McCoy worked through blizzards, droughts, and economic downturns, building increasingly sophisticated machinery to pull skiers up the mountain and groom the snow., "Dave McCoy, who gave skiers Mammoth Mountain, dies at 104," 13 Feb. 2020 The event, which has been running for 20 years, has taken on a new poignancy amid climate change THE AUDIENCE, wrapped up in thick coats and hats, sits huddled together in a small amphitheatre dug out of the snow. The Economist, "Chilling sounds At a music festival in Norway, the instruments are made from ice," 11 Feb. 2020 Sniffer dogs have been used to scan the avalanche field and help recover the bodies of those buried under the heavy snow and ice. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "At least 41 killed as death toll from Turkey avalanche disaster rises," 6 Feb. 2020 Fungi fuel wildflowers and provide nutrients for plants once the snow melts. Erin Blakemore, Popular Science, "Snow is the only thing keeping some plants and animals from freezing to death," 31 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Upstate New York will get a combination of snow and rain until transitioning only to snow on Thursday night. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "First Snowfall of the Season Set to Begin in the Northeast, Areas Around the Country," 5 Nov. 2019 Skiing Yotei requires visibility, which requires it to stop snowing. Dina Mishev, Washington Post, "For skiers on this Japanese island, a perfect pairing of hot and cold," 1 Nov. 2019 The ballistic-grade nylon fabric is highly water resistant—my bag has been snowed on for hours and kept its contents totally dry. Bryan Rogala, Outside Online, "The North Face Base Camp Duffel Is the Best Travel Bag," 8 Oct. 2019 What could be more romantic than getting snowed in with a few plates of lobster salad and pommes dauphine as provisions? Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "If I Lived in Toronto, Every Dinner Date Would Be at Dreyfus," 9 Dec. 2019 Authorities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have rescued 19 members of a family who became marooned in a snowed-in cabin after a weekend blizzard swept the area., "19 people rescued from snowed-in cabin after weekend blizzard in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula," 4 Dec. 2019 But his high school football buddies pressure him to participate in the Turkey Bowl, a match with their rival team that got snowed out 15 years earlier. Liv Martin, Twin Cities, "Two Minnesotans behind ‘The Turkey Bowl’ movie," 14 Nov. 2019 That means there’s not even a chance of a sloppy mix, but instead a rain storm likely to change to a rain/snow mix later on, then perhaps to snow showers for a short time Friday morning. Stephanie Sigafoos,, "A four-letter word has entered the Northeast’s end-week forecast discussion — and it’s not just ‘rain’," 4 Nov. 2019 People have lived amid the Alp's soaring peaks since prehistoric times, and the range is also home to some 13,000 types of plants, myriad minerals and crystals, and about 30,000 wildlife species that range from marmots to brown bears to snow fleas. National Geographic, "Fun Facts About the Swiss and Italian Alps," 26 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of snow


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for snow


Middle English, from Old English snāw; akin to Old High German snēo snow, Latin niv-, nix, Greek nipha (accusative)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about snow

Time Traveler for snow

Time Traveler

The first known use of snow was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for snow

Last Updated

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Snow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for snow


How to pronounce Snow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of snow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: soft, white pieces of frozen water that fall to the ground from the sky in cold weather
: white dots that appear on the screen of a television when it is receiving a weak signal



English Language Learners Definition of snow (Entry 2 of 2)

used with it to say that snow is falling
US, informal : to impress, deceive, or persuade (someone)


\ ˈsnō How to pronounce snow (audio) \

Kids Definition of snow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : small white crystals of ice formed directly from the water vapor of the air
2 : a mass of snowflakes fallen to earth a foot of snow


snowed; snowing

Kids Definition of snow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fall or cause to fall in or as snow It's snowing west of here.


\ ˈsnō How to pronounce snow (audio) \

Medical Definition of snow

1 : any of various congealed or crystallized substances resembling snow in appearance carbon dioxide snow
2 slang
b : heroin

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on snow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snow

Spanish Central: Translation of snow

Nglish: Translation of snow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snow for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about snow

Comments on snow

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!