Definition of


  1. (noun, act) (American football) putting the ball in play by passing it (between the legs) to a back
  2. (noun, act) the act of catching an object with the hands
    he made a grab for the ball before it landed
    Martin's snatch at the bridle failed and the horse raced away
    the infielder's snap and throw was a single motion
  3. (noun, act) the act of snapping the fingers; movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand
  4. (noun, act) any undertaking that is easy to do
  5. (noun, artifact) a fastener used on clothing; fastens with a snapping sound
  6. (noun, artifact) an informal photograph; usually made with a small hand-held camera
    he tried to get unposed shots of his friends
  7. (noun, attribute) the tendency of a body to return to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed
  8. (noun, event) a sudden breaking
  9. (noun, event) a sudden sharp noise
    he heard the cracking of the ice
    he can hear the snap of a twig
  10. (noun, event) the noise produced by the rapid movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand
  11. (noun, food) a crisp round cookie flavored with ginger
  12. (noun, food) tender green beans without strings that easily snap into sections
  13. (noun, time) a spell of cold weather
  14. (verb, change) break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension
  15. (verb, change) close with a snapping motion
  16. (verb, communication) utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone
    The guard snarled at us
  17. (verb, communication) record on photographic film
    She snapped a picture of the President
  18. (verb, contact) cause to make a snapping sound
  19. (verb, contact) put in play with a snap
  20. (verb, contact) to grasp hastily or eagerly
  21. (verb, contact) bring the jaws together
  22. (verb, contact) separate or cause to separate abruptly
    tear the paper
  23. (verb, emotion) lose control of one's emotions
    When her baby died, she snapped
  24. (verb, motion) move or strike with a noise
    his arm was snapped forward
  25. (verb, motion) move with a snapping sound
  26. (verb, perception) make a sharp sound

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Snap

  1. 1495, "quick, sudden bite or cut," from Du. or Low Ger. snappen "to snap," probably related to M.L.G. or M.Du. snavel "bill, beak" (see nib). Sense of "quick movement" is first recorded 1631; that of "something easily done" is 1877. Common in compounds to indicate instantaneous action (cf. cold snap, 1829). The card game is attested from 1882. Phrase sna… more
  2. 1520s, "to make a quick bite" (of animals), from snap (n.). Meaning "to break suddenly or sharply" is first recorded c.1600; the mental sense is from 1970s. U.S. football sense first recorded 1887. Snapping turtle is attested from 1784. To snap the fingers is from 1670s. Snappish "peevish" is first recorded 1540s. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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