Definition of “snap” - English Dictionary

“snap” in English

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uk /snæp/ us /snæp/ -pp-

snap verb (BREAK)

C2 [ I or T ] to cause something that is thin to break suddenly and quickly with a cracking sound:

You'll snap that ruler if you bend it too far.
Some vandal's snapped off my car aerial again.

C2 [ I ] to suddenly become unable to control a strong feeling, especially anger:

When she asked me to postpone my trip to help her move to her new house, I just snapped (= got angry).

More examples

snap verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

[ I or T, usually + adv/prep ] to move into a position quickly, producing a short noise as if breaking:

Tendons store elastic energy by stretching and then snapping back into shape like rubber bands.
Simply snap the pieces into place.

[ I + adv/prep ] to quickly return to a previous place or condition:

After substantial losses last year, the company has snapped back to profitability (= started making profits again).
snap shut

C2 If something snaps shut or is snapped shut, it closes quickly with a sudden sharp sound:

She snapped her book shut and got up to leave.
Her mouth snapped shut when she realized he'd heard everything she'd said about him.

snap verb (FASTEN)

[ I or T ] US to fasten using two small pieces of metal or plastic, one of which is pushed into the other:

He snapped up his jacket.


uk /snæp/ us /snæp/

snap noun (BREAKING NOISE)

[ C usually singular ] a sudden loud sound like something breaking or closing:

She broke the stick over her knee with a loud snap.

[ C ] US UK press stud, snap fastener a small piece of metal or plastic used to fasten clothes, with two usually round parts, one of which is pushed into the other


[ C ] in American football, the act of passing the ball backward to start play

snapadjective [ before noun ]

uk /snæp/ us /snæp/


uk /snæp/ us /snæp/

"Snap!" is what you say in the game of snap when two cards of the same value have been played.

UK informal something that you say when you notice that two things are the same:

Snap! We're wearing the same shirts!

(Definition of “snap” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“snap” in American English

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us /snæp/ -pp-

snap verb (BREAK)

[ I/T ] to break something quickly with a cracking sound:

[ I ] High winds caused some power lines to snap, and we lost our electricity.

[ I/T ] fig. People who snap suddenly lose control of their behavior when they experience very strong emotions:

[ I ] His lawyer said he just snapped.

snap verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

to move (something) or change into a new position quickly:

[ M ] The sudden stop of the car snapped his head back.

If you snap your fingers, you make a sudden, cracking noise by pushing a finger against the base of your thumb, usually in order to get someone’s attention.

snap verb (FASTEN/CLOSE)

[ I/T ] to make a quick, cracking sound by suddenly bringing together the two parts of something:

[ T ] She snapped her briefcase shut and marched out of the room.

[ I/T ] If a dog snaps at you, it suddenly tries to bite you.

snap verb (SPEAK)

[ I/T ] to speak or say something suddenly in anger:

[ I ] Don’t snap at your brother like that.


[ T ] to use a camera to take a photograph without spending a lot of time doing it:

Washington is full of tourists snapping pictures of each other.


Phrasal verb(s)


us /snæp/

snap noun (SOMETHING EASY)

[ C usually sing ] infml something that can be done without any difficulty:

Thinking that the exam would be a snap, she didn’t bother to study for it.


[ C usually pl ] a small clothes fastener with two round parts, one of which is pushed into the other:

The shirt fastens with snaps.

snap noun (BREAK)

[ C usually sing ] the act of breaking something stiff, or the cracking sound made when it breaks:

The plastic handle broke with a loud snap.


us /snæp/

snap adjective (SUDDEN)

done suddenly without allowing time for careful thought or preparation:

Don’t make a snap decision – take some time to think it over.

(Definition of “snap” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“snap” in Business English

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snapverb [ T ]

uk /snæp/ us -pp-

to end a particular pattern of activity:

July snapped a string of monthly gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 40.47 to 4383.87, snapping a two-session losing streak.

(Definition of “snap” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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