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[snip] /snɪp/
verb (used with object), snipped, snipping.
to cut with a small, quick stroke, or a succession of such strokes, with scissors or the like.
to remove or cut off (something) by or as by cutting in this manner:
to snip a rose.
verb (used without object), snipped, snipping.
to cut with small, quick strokes.
the act of snipping, as with scissors.
a small cut made by snipping.
a small piece snipped off.
a small piece, bit, or amount of anything:
a snip of food.
Informal. a small or insignificant person.
Informal. a presumptuous or impertinent person.
snips, small, strong hand shears used by sheet metal workers.
British Informal. a bargain.
Origin of snip
1550-60; origin uncertain; compare Dutch, Low German snippen to snip, catch, clip
Related forms
unsnipped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for snip
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But when the dizziness began to go off, she whisked her little scissors out of her apron pocket, and snip!

    Stories to Tell Children Sara Cone Bryant
  • “Why, snip and Snap,” said Maisie eagerly, still holding back.

  • He ought to be ashamed to snip off my finger, and then call me tough.

    Aunt Madge's Story Sophie May
  • And snip did go at him, as if he would "tear him limb from limb," as the story-books say.

  • Absorbedly, Stone took them from her, and one by one he used them to snip at a sheet of paper from the library desk.

    The Curved Blades Carolyn Wells
  • I want you to take him below to snip, who will measure him for his uniforms.

    The First Mate Harry Collingwood
  • Molly returned with the carving knife and fork, and Richard Blount began to snip off small pieces.

  • The only ones who hesitated were my landlord, Nora Magee, and snip the tailor.

    Sheppard Lee, Vol. I (of 2) Robert Montgomery Bird
  • One imagined things floating in it; even that it might tinkle to the snip of a finger nail, like a crystal rim.

    Down the Columbia Lewis R. Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for snip


verb snips, snipping, snipped
to cut or clip with a small quick stroke or a succession of small quick strokes, esp with scissors or shears
the act of snipping
the sound of scissors or shears closing
Also called snipping. a small piece of anything, esp one that has been snipped off
a small cut made by snipping
(mainly Brit) an informal word for bargain
(informal) something easily done; cinch
(US & Canadian, informal) a small or insignificant person or thing, esp an irritating or insolent one
(often reiterated) a representation of the sound of scissors or shears closing
See also snips
Word Origin
C16: from Low German, Dutch snippen; related to Middle High German snipfen to snap the fingers
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 snip

1550s, "small piece of cut-out cloth," probably from Dutch or Low German snippen "to snip, shred," of imitative origin. Meaning "cut made by scissors" is from 1590s. As a nickname or cant word for a tailor, 1590s. Snip-snap-snorum, the card game, is 1755, from Low German.


"to cut at one light, quick stroke," 1580s, from snip (n.). Related: Snipped; snipping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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