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[snel] /snɛl/
a short piece of nylon, gut, or the like, by which a fishhook is attached to a line.
Origin of snell1
An Americanism dating back to 1840-50; origin uncertain


[snel] /snɛl/
adjective, Chiefly Scot.
active; lively:
a snell lad.
a snell remark.
snell weather.
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old High German snel (German schnell) quick, Old Norse snjallr excellent


[snel] /snɛl/
Peter (George) born 1938, New Zealand distance runner. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for snell
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was afraid Mr. snell —but it isn't worth talking about, now.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • With a gasp, snell plunged through the crowd and took to his heels.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • "Furnish me with a boy to pass Merriwell the water and I'll do it," said snell.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • snell, on finding Frank and his friends were in Boston, had played the spy on the party.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • Then he hunted up snell, and it was not hard to induce Wat to accompany him.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • Oh, I can read you, snell—I know the workings of your evil mind!

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • Dr. snell and Mr. Wyman continued their visits and their prescriptions.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • After snell's death he became professor of mathematics there.

  • Good-bye, I don't want much to eat, but have something for snell and the chauffeur.

    The Yellow God H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for snell


(Scot) biting; bitter; sharp
Word Origin
Old English snel quick, active


Sir Peter (George). born 1938, New Zealand athlete; winner of three Olympic gold medals: for the 800 metres in 1960, and again in 1964, when he also won gold for the 1500 metres
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 snell

Old English snel "quick, active," cognate with Old Saxon, Dutch, Old High German snel, German schnell "swift, quick," Old Danish snel "swift, fleet," Old Norse snjallr "eloquent, able, bold." It survived as a surname and in Scottish and northern English; used by Burns and Scott. Italian snello is from Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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snell in Medicine

Snell (sněl), George. Born 1903.

American geneticist. He shared a 1980 Nobel Prize for discoveries concerning cell structure that enhanced understanding of the immunological system, resulting in higher success rates in organ transplantation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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