verb (used with object), snagged, snag·ging.

verb (used without object), snagged, snag·ging.

Origin of snag

First recorded in 1570–80, snag is from the Old Norse word snagi point, projection
Related formssnag·like, adjectiveun·snagged, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for snagging

rip, tear, nail, hole

Examples from the Web for snagging

Contemporary Examples of snagging

Historical Examples of snagging

British Dictionary definitions for snagging



a difficulty or disadvantagethe snag is that I have nothing suitable to wear
a sharp protuberance, such as a tree stump
a small loop or hole in a fabric caused by a sharp object
engineering a projection that brings to a stop a sliding or rotating component
mainly US and Canadian a tree stump in a riverbed that is dangerous to navigation
US and Canadian a standing dead tree, esp one used as a perch by an eagle
(plural) Australian slang sausages

verb snags, snagging or snagged

(tr) to hinder or impede
(tr) to tear or catch (fabric)
(intr) to develop a snag
(intr) mainly US and Canadian (of a boat) to strike or be damaged by a snag
(tr) mainly US and Canadian to clear (a stretch of water) of snags
(tr) US to seize (an opportunity, benefit, etc)
Derived Formssnaglike, adjective

Word Origin for snag

C16: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse snaghyrndr sharp-pointed, Norwegian snage spike, Icelandic snagi peg
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 snagging



1570s, "stump of a tree, branch," of Scandinavian origin, cf. Old Norse snagi "clothes peg," snaga "a kind of ax," snag-hyrndr "snag-cornered, with sharp points." The ground sense seems to be "a sharp protuberance." The meaning "sharp or jagged projection" is first recorded 1580s; especially "tree or branch in water and partly near the surface, so as to be dangerous to navigation" (1807). The figurative meaning "obstacle, impediment" is from 1829.



"be caught on an impediment," 1807, from snag (n.). Originally in American English, often in reference to steamboats caught on branches and stumps lodged in riverbeds. Of fabric, from 1967. The transitive meaning "to catch, steal, pick up" is U.S. colloquial, attested from 1895. Related: Snagged; snagging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with snagging


see hit a snag.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.