Meaning of SNAP in English

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.

snap at

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

snap at

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 :

holiday snaps

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

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