or schnaps

[shnahps, shnaps]


(in Europe) any strong, dry spirit, as slivovitz, aquavit, or kirsch.
a drink of schnapps.

Origin of schnapps

1810–20; < German, < Dutch or Low German snaps literally, gulp, mouthful, derivative of snappen to snap
Can be confusedschnapps snaps Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for schnapps

Historical Examples of schnapps

  • You would let a good man die sooner than give him a drop of schnapps.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • They beat me, they mock me; the sergeants shriek for schnapps and money.

    The Duel

    A. I. Kuprin

  • And if theres a spark of ability or talent in any one, it is extinguished in schnapps.

    The Duel

    A. I. Kuprin

  • So, too, it may be that the Puritan was saved by rum, and the Hollander by schnapps.

  • I promised the worthy fellow a glass of schnapps for his pains.

    Barry Lyndon

    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for schnapps




a Dutch spirit distilled from potatoes
(in Germany) any strong spirit

Word Origin for schnapps

C19: from German Schnaps, from schnappen to snap
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 schnapps

1818, kind of Holland gin, from German Schnaps, literally "a mouthful, gulp," from Low German snaps, from snappen "to snap" (see snap (v.)). For sense, cf. nip for "alcoholic drink quickly taken."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper