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[snak] /snæk/
a small portion of food or drink or a light meal, especially one eaten between regular meals.
a share or portion.
Australian Slang. something easily done.
verb (used without object)
to have a snack or light meal, especially between regular meals:
They snacked on tea and cake.
go snack / snacks, to share (profits or returns).
Origin of snack
1300-50; (noun) Middle English: a snap or bite, derivative of snacken to snap, bite; compare Middle Dutch snack a snap; (v.) derivative of the noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for snack
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I know George has a snack stowed away in his haversack right now.

    Great Hike Alan Douglas
  • And some sandwiches and pound cake for a snack for ourselves.

  • When he stopped to make a pot of black tea and warm a snack to eat Jolly Roger tried to explain this new meaning of life to Peter.

    The Country Beyond James Oliver Curwood
  • "You are just in time for a snack," old man Pitt cried, waving the leg of a chicken.

    Old Ebenezer Opie Read
  • After a bite and a snack I went to bed, not to worry, but to sleep.

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
British Dictionary definitions for snack


a light quick meal eaten between or in place of main meals
a sip or bite
(rare) a share
(Austral, informal) a very easy task
(intransitive) to eat a snack
Word Origin
C15: probably from Middle Dutch snacken, variant of snappen to snap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for snack

c.1300, "to bite or snap" (of a dog), probably from Middle Dutch or Flemish snacken "to snatch, snap; chatter," which Watkins traces to a hypothetical Germanic imitative root *snu- forming words having to do with the nose (see snout). The meaning "have a mere bite or morsel, eat a light meal" is first attested 1807. Related: Snacked; snacking.


c.1400, "a snatch or snap" (especially that of a dog), from snack (v.). Later "a snappish remark" (1550s); "a share, portion, part" (1680s; hence old expression go snacks "share, divide; have a share in"). Main modern meaning "a bite or morsel to eat hastily" is attested from 1757. Snack bar is attested from 1923. Commercial plural form snax attested from 1942 in the vending machine trade.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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