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[snoop] /snup/ Informal.
verb (used without object)
to prowl or pry; go about in a sneaking, prying way.
an act or instance of snooping.
a person who snoops.
a private detective.
Origin of snoop
1825-35, Americanism; < Dutch snoepen to take and eat food on the sly
Related forms
snooper, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for snoops
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I know you have not told her that we are going abroad, but you know she snoops around enough to have heard us talking.

    The Comings of Cousin Ann Emma Speed Sampson
  • Every time a photographer in this town takes her picture, he snoops around and gets one.

    In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White
British Dictionary definitions for snoops


(intransitive; often foll by about or around) to pry into the private business of others
a person who pries into the business of others
an act or instance of snooping
Derived Forms
snoopy, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch snoepen to eat furtively
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 snoops



1832, "to go around in a prying manner," American English, probably from Dutch snoepen "to pry," also "eat in secret, eat sweets, sneak," probably related to snappen "to bite, snatch" (see snap (v.)). Specific meaning "to pry into other people's business" is attested from 1921. Related: Snooped; snooping.


1891, "act of snooping," from snoop (v.). Meaning "one who snoops" is from 1929; meaning "detective" is from 1942. snooper "one who pries or peeps" is from 1889.

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



A detective: Private snoop, hunh?

[ultimately fr Dutch snoepen, ''pry'']

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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snoops in Technology

Craske, 1988. An extension of SCOOPS with meta-objects that can redirect messages to other objects. "SNOOPS: An Object-Oriented language Enhancement Supporting Dynamic Program Reeconfiguration", N. Craske, SIGPLAN Notices 26(10): 53-62 (Oct 1991).

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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