I. snap 1 W3 /snæp/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle snapped , present participle snapping )
[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Dutch ; Origin: Low German snappen ]
1 . BREAK [intransitive and transitive] to break with a sudden sharp noise, or to make something do this:
A twig snapped under my feet.
The wind snapped branches and power lines.
snap (something) off (something)
I snapped the ends off the beans and dropped them into a bowl.
snap (something) in two/in half (=break into two pieces)
The teacher snapped the chalk in two and gave me a piece.
2 . MOVE INTO POSITION [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] to move into a particular position suddenly, making a short sharp noise, or to make something move like this
snap together/back etc
The pieces just snap together like this.
The policeman snapped the handcuffs around her wrist.
snap (something) open/shut
She snapped her briefcase shut.
3 . SAY SOMETHING ANGRILY [intransitive and transitive] to say something quickly in an angry way:
‘What do you want?’ Mike snapped.
He snapped at Walter for no reason.
4 . BECOME ANGRY/ANXIOUS ETC [intransitive] to suddenly stop being able to control your anger, anxiety, or other feelings in a difficult situation:
The stress began to get to her, and one morning she just snapped.
Something inside him snapped, and he hit her.
5 . ANIMAL [intransitive] if an animal such as a dog snaps, it tries to bite you
The dog started snapping at my heels.
6 . PHOTOGRAPH [intransitive and transitive] informal to take a photograph:
Dave snapped a picture of me and Sonia.
7 . snap your fingers to make a short sharp noise by moving one of your fingers quickly against your thumb, for example in order to get someone’s attention or to mark the beat of music
8 . snap to it spoken used to tell someone to hurry and do something immediately:
Come on, snap to it – get that room cleaned up!
9 . STOP [transitive] American English to end a series of events – used especially in newspapers:
The Rockets snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating Portland.
10 . snap to attention if soldiers snap to attention, they suddenly stand very straight
⇨ ↑ snap-on
• • •
■ to break something
▪ break verb [transitive] to damage something and make it separate into pieces, for example by dropping it or hitting it:
Careful you don’t break the chair.
He broke his leg.
▪ smash verb [transitive] to break something with a lot of force:
A policeman smashed his camera.
▪ snap verb [transitive] to break something into two pieces, making a loud noise – used especially about long thin objects:
He snapped the sticks in two.
▪ split verb [transitive] to separate something into two pieces along a straight line:
Using a sharp knife, split the melon in half.
▪ fracture verb [transitive] to damage a bone, especially so that a line appears on the surface:
I fell over and fractured my wrist.
▪ tear /teə $ ter/ verb [transitive] to damage paper or cloth by pulling it so that it separates into pieces:
She tore up the letter and put it in the bin.
I tore my jacket.
snap on/off phrasal verb
to switch something on or off, or to switch on or off:
A light snapped on in one of the huts.
snap something ↔ on/off
Kathy snapped off the light.
snap out of something phrasal verb
to stop being sad or upset and make yourself feel better:
Chantal’s been depressed for days. I wish she’d snap out of it.
snap somebody/something ↔ up phrasal verb
1 . to buy something immediately, especially because it is very cheap:
People were snapping up bargains.
2 . to eagerly take an opportunity to have someone as part of your company, team etc:
Owen was snapped up by Liverpool before he’d even left school.
II. snap 2 BrE AmE noun
1 . SOUND [singular] a sudden loud sound, especially made by something breaking or closing:
He shut the book with a snap.
2 . PHOTOGRAPH [countable] especially British English informal a photograph taken quickly and often not very skilfully SYN snapshot :
3 . be a snap American English informal to be very easy to do:
The test was a snap.
4 . CLOTHING [countable] American English a small metal fastener on clothes that works when you press its two parts together:
baby clothing with snaps
5 . a snap of sb’s fingers a sudden sound made by quickly moving one of your fingers against your thumb:
At a snap of his owner’s fingers, the dog came running.
6 . GAME [uncountable] a card game in which players put down one card after another and try to be the first to shout ‘Snap!’ when there are two cards that are the same
⇨ ↑ cold snap
• • •
▪ photograph a picture taken using a camera:
Visitors are not allowed to take photographs inside the museum.
our wedding photographs
▪ photo informal a photograph:
a way of displaying your digital photos
Do you want me to take your photo?
▪ picture a photograph of someone or something:
I saw her picture in the paper the other day.
This is a really good picture of Sarah.
Can I take your picture?
▪ snap British English informal , snapshot especially American English a photograph that you take quickly and without thinking carefully about how it will look, for example when you are on holiday:
Patrick showed me his holiday snaps.
She showed me a snapshot of her three children.
▪ shot informal a photograph – used especially by people who often take photographs:
I got some great shots of Mount Fuji.
It's a lovely shot.
▪ print a photograph that has been printed on photographic paper:
a set of 4 by 6 inch prints
III. snap 3 BrE AmE adjective
1 . snap judgment/decision a judgment or decision made quickly, without careful thought or discussion
2 . snap election British English an election that is announced suddenly and unexpectedly
IV. snap 4 BrE AmE interjection
1 . British English used when you see two things that are exactly the same:
Hey, snap! My hat’s the same as yours.
2 . said in the game of snap when two cards that are the same are put down