a person belonging to or characteristic of the lowest social group in a city.
a street urchin.

Nearby words

  1. gutter ball,
  2. gutter fracture,
  3. gutter press,
  4. gutter wound,
  5. guttering,
  6. guttiform,
  7. guttle,
  8. guttural,
  9. gutturalize,
  10. gutturalized

Origin of guttersnipe

First recorded in 1855–60; gutter + snipe

Related formsgut·ter·snip·ish, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for guttersnipe

British Dictionary definitions for guttersnipe



a child who spends most of his time in the streets, esp in a slum area
a person regarded as having the behaviour, morals, etc, of one brought up in squalor
Derived Formsguttersnipish, adjective

Word Origin for guttersnipe

C19: originally a name applied to the common snipe (the bird), then to a person who gathered refuse from gutters in city streets

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

Word Origin and History for guttersnipe



also gutter-snipe, 1857, from gutter (n.) + snipe (n.); originally Wall Street slang for "streetcorner broker," attested later (1869) as "street urchin," also "one who gathers rags and paper from gutters." As a name for the common snipe, it dates from 1874 but is perhaps earlier.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper