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[snap-ee] /ˈsnæp i/
adjective, snappier, snappiest.
apt to snap or bite; snappish, as a dog.
impatient or irritable, as a person or a reply.
snapping or crackling in sound, as a fire.
quick or sudden in action or performance.
Informal. crisp, smart, lively, brisk, etc.:
Only snappy people get ahead in this world.
make it snappy, Slang. to speed up; hurry.
Origin of snappy
First recorded in 1740-50; snap + -y1
Related forms
snappily, adverb
snappiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for snappy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "There, chicken—the heat always turns me snappy," she repented instantly.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • She had a snappy temper and a sharp tongue and was, indeed, something of a tomboy.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • I'd do the snappy paragraphs, and you would do the fiction and poetry.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • The American train was in charge of two snappy doughboys, a corporal and a private.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • I threw them as snappy a salute as I could muster and they filed out.

    The Misplaced Battleship Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
British Dictionary definitions for snappy


adjective -pier, -piest
Also snappish. apt to speak sharply or irritably
Also snappish. apt to snap or bite
crackling in sound: a snappy fire
brisk, sharp, or chilly: a snappy pace, snappy weather
smart and fashionable: a snappy dresser
(slang) make it snappy, be quick! hurry up!
Derived Forms
snappily, adverb
snappiness, noun
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 snappy

"quick, energetic," 1825, from snap (v.) + -y (2). Meaning "clever, smart" is from 1871; that of "neat and stylishly elegant" is from 1881. Related: Snappily; snappiness. Command make it snappy attested from 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for snappy



  1. Quick; brisk; energetic: Be snappy about it (1831+)
  2. Trim and attractive; fashionable; smart: wearing a snappy light gray suit (1881+)

Related Terms

make it snappy

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with snappy


see under make haste
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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