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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Researchers recently found surprisingly high levels of microplastics in Arctic snow, demonstrating the global reach of these tiny particles of pollution. Los Angeles Times, "Microplastics are found in Lake Tahoe’s waters for first time ever," 26 Aug. 2019 Cosmic dust found in Antarctic snow was likely birthed in a distant supernova millions of years ago. NBC News, "Racism in America, Wall Street woes, and the Jeffrey Epstein latest: The Morning Rundown," 15 Aug. 2019 Cosmic dust found in Antarctic snow was likely birthed in a distant supernova millions of years ago. Mindy Weisberger, Scientific American, "Space Dust from Ancient Supernova Found Hiding in Antarctica," 14 Aug. 2019 Roads were covered in snow, and a hail storm near the finish line led to organizers canceling the remainder of the stage. Jenna West,, "Violent Weather Forces Early Halt to Tour de France Stage 19," 26 July 2019 Even summer officially started as spring largely ended: wet and cold along the Front Range, with snow in the mountains. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Colorado wildfire risk likely to be heavily reduced this summer," 12 July 2019 Residents of Guadalajara, Mexico, woke up to an unusual surprise over the weekend, after an intense hailstorm left the city streets buried in snow. Maria Pasquini,, "'Freakish' Summer Hailstorm Buries Streets of Guadalajara in Up to 6 Feet of Ice," 1 July 2019 After winter blankets venerable alleys and temples in snow, spring comes with the sakura (cherry blossoms) bursting into bloom in late March, one of the most popular times to visit. National Geographic, "Discover 20 of Kyoto’s highlights and hidden gems," 17 May 2019 The next chance of snow at high elevations will be Wednesday. Los Angeles Times, "Snow in summer? Lake Tahoe area gets early blast of winter," 17 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here's one idea: Get snowed in atop a mountain with no way to escape the four walls of your Airbnb rental, right in the middle of a breakdown. Fiza Pirani, Teen Vogue, "How Telling My Immigrant Parents I Contemplated Suicide May Have Saved My Life," 13 Sep. 2019 But, a warm start to September – following a warm August – has postponed some of the mountains’ first snows a bit deeper into September this year. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s first snow of the season for highest peaks expected Wednesday night," 10 Sep. 2019 The planet is warming, the oceans are acidifying, the Amazon is burning down, and plastic is snowing on the Arctic. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Can Spaceflight Save the Planet?," 6 Sep. 2019 Boughton, whose official announcement of his gubernatorial candidacy was snowed out on Thursday, often touts the unemployment rate in Danbury, which is lower than the state as a whole. Russell Blair,, "Mayors Crowd Connecticut's Gubernatorial Field," 7 Jan. 2018 Yet, plastics are so ubiquitous in the environment that plastic pollution has been found everywhere from the deepest oceans to snow samples in the remote Arctic, according to USA Today. Maddy Lauria, Washington Post, "Plastic is ending up in Delaware’s waters, where it can kill," 30 Aug. 2019 And after what happened the year prior, this was probably more than a little extra salt in the wound. 1. Sept. 3, 1961: Believe it or not, it’s snowed before Labor Day in Denver. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Colorado weather: Denver’s earliest snows on record," 27 Aug. 2019 With an approach that rivals any snowed-in Chicago neighborhood, Evanston residents don’t leave their spots along the Fourth of July parade route to chance. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "Lawn chairs, tarps and tape: Marking dibs along Evanston’s parade route begins well before July 4," 2 July 2019 Soon after Paloma arrives, the sky darkens and begins snowing ash. Sean Mccoy, Los Angeles Times, "Review: An authoritarian leader’s shadow looms over a weary country in ‘The Remainder’," 18 July 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.

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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)

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Learn More about snow

Statistics for snow

Last Updated

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for snow

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

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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

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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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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