Meaning of SNAG in English


I. snag 1 /snæɡ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Probably from a Scandinavian language ]

1 . a problem or disadvantage, especially one that is not very serious, which you had not expected:

It’s an interesting job. The only snag is that it’s not very well paid.

hit/run into a snag

The grand opening hit a snag when no one could find the key.


Snag is slightly informal. In written English, people usually prefer to use problem or disadvantage instead:

The only disadvantage is that it takes a little longer.

2 . a part of a dead tree that sticks out, especially one that is under water and can be dangerous

3 . a sharp part of something that sticks out and holds or cuts things that touch it

• • •


▪ setback a problem that stops you from making progress:

The space program suffered a major setback when the space shuttle, Discovery, exploded.

▪ snag informal a problem, especially one that you had not expected:

There’s a snag – I don’t have his number.

▪ hitch a small problem that delays or prevents something:

There have been a few last-minute hitches.

▪ trouble when something does not work in the way it should:

The plane developed engine trouble.

▪ hassle spoken a situation that is annoying because it causes problems:

Just trying to store all this stuff is a hassle.

II. snag 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle snagged , present participle snagging ) [transitive]

1 . to damage something by getting it stuck on something sharp:

Oh no! I’ve snagged my stockings.

2 . American English informal to succeed in getting something, especially something difficult to get:

I snagged a parking space in the last row.

• • •


▪ tear to damage paper or cloth by pulling it too hard, or letting it touch something sharp:

She unwrapped the present carefully, trying not to tear the paper.


I tore a hole in my jacket, climbing over the fence.

▪ rip to tear something quickly or violently:

Beth excitedly ripped open the package.


Stop pulling my dress! You’ll rip it!

▪ split to tear your trousers or shirt when you put them on, because they are too tight for you:

He bent down and split his trousers.


Oh no, now I’ve split my shirt.

▪ ladder British English if a woman ladders her ↑ tights or STOCKINGS , she tears them so that a long thin line appears in them:

Damn! I’ve laddered my tights!

▪ snag to catch a piece of clothing on something rough or sharp so that it tears slightly:

I snagged my shirt on a nail.

▪ shred to deliberately destroy letters, documents etc by cutting them into thin pieces, often by using a special machine:

In order to prevent fraud, it’s best to shred your bank statements.


I went through all my papers shredding things I didn’t need.

▪ frayed torn a little along the edges – used about clothes, carpets etc that have been used a lot:

He was wearing an old pair of frayed jeans.


The rug was a little frayed around the edges.


The jacket was a little frayed at the cuffs.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.