[ snap-shot ]
/ ˈsnæpˌʃɒt /


an informal photograph, especially one taken quickly by a handheld camera.
Hunting. a quick shot taken without deliberate aim.
Informal. a brief appraisal, summary, or profile.

verb (used with or without object), snap·shot or snap·shot·ted, snap·shot·ting.

to photograph informally and quickly.

Nearby words

  1. snappish,
  2. snappishly,
  3. snappy,
  4. snapshoot,
  5. snapshooter,
  6. snaptin,
  7. snare,
  8. snare drum,
  9. snarf,
  10. snark

Origin of snapshot

1800–10 for def 2; 1860–65 for def 1; snap (in the sense “done suddenly or casually”) + shot1


[ snap-shoot ]
/ ˈsnæpˌʃut /

verb (used with object), snap·shot, snap·shoot·ing.

to take a snapshot of (a subject).

Origin of snapshoot

back formation from snapshot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for snap shot

snap shot


sport a sudden, fast shot at goal


/ (ˈsnæpˌʃɒt) /


an informal photograph taken with a simple cameraOften shortened 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 snap shot



also snap-shot, 1808, "a quick shot with a gun, without aim, at a fast-moving target," from snap + shot (n.). Photographic sense is attested from 1890. Figuratively, of something captured at a moment in time, from 1897.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper