[snap-awf, of]


removed or opened by snapping: a snap-off lid.

Origin of snap-off

adj. use of verb phrase snap off



verb (used without object), snapped, snap·ping.

to make a sudden, sharp, distinct sound; crack, as a whip; crackle.
to click, as a mechanism or the jaws or teeth coming together.
to move, strike, shut, catch, etc., with a sharp sound, as a door, lid, or lock.
to break suddenly, especially with a sharp, cracking sound, as something slender and brittle: The branch snapped.
to act or move with quick or abrupt motions of the body: to snap to attention.
Photography. to take a photograph, especially without formal posing of the subject.
to make a quick or sudden bite or grab (often followed by at).
to utter a quick, sharp sentence or speech, especially a command, reproof, retort, etc. (often followed by at).
to be radiant; sparkle; flash, as the eyes.

verb (used with object), snapped, snap·ping.

to seize with or take, buy, or obtain as with a quick bite or grab (followed by up or off): The bargains were snapped up.
to secure, judge, vote, etc., hastily: They snapped the bill through Congress.
to cause to make a sudden, sharp sound: to snap one's fingers.
to crack (a whip).
to bring, strike, shut, open, operate, etc., with a sharp sound or movement: to snap a lid down.
to address or interrupt (a person) quickly and sharply.
to say or utter (words, a command, a retort, etc.) in a quick, sharp manner: to snap complaints.
to break suddenly, especially with a cracking sound: to snap a stick in half.
Photography. to take a photograph of, especially quickly.
Digital Technology. to use a smartphone or other digital device to scan (a QR code or other source) in order to read the encoded text or URL and to browse the hyperlinked website or web page.
Building Trades. to transfer (a line) to a surface by means of a chalk line.
Football. to put (the ball) into play by tossing it back to the quarterback or other member of the offensive backfield, especially from between the legs when bent over double and facing the line of scrimmage; center.
Hunting. to fire (a shot) quickly, especially without raising the gun to aim from the eye.


a quick, sudden action or movement, as the flick of a whip or the breaking of a twig.
a short, sharp sound, as that caused by breaking a twig or closing a latch.
a catch or fastener that closes by pressure and clicks together.
Informal. briskness, vigor, or energy: That song has a lot of snap.
a quick, sharp speech or manner of speaking: He uttered his commands with a snap.
a quick or sudden bite or grab, as at something: The fish ate with little snaps.
something obtained by or as by biting or grabbing: a snap of food.
a brittle cookie.
a short spell or period, as of cold weather: an unexpected cold snap.
Photography. a snapshot.
Informal. an easy, profitable, or agreeable position, piece of work, or the like: This job is a snap.
Football. the act or an instance of snapping the ball.
Informal. a snapdragon.
British. a packed lunch, as that carried by a worker or traveler.


fastening or closing with a click or snap, as a device fitted with a spring catch: a snap lock.
made, done, taken, etc., suddenly or offhand: a snap judgment.
easy or simple.


in a brisk, sudden manner.


(an exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure, regret, disappointment, etc.): Oh snap! I forgot we had a test today!

Verb Phrases

snap to,
  1. to come to attention: The troops snapped to when the colonel walked in.
  2. to shape up: If you don't snap to and study, you'll flunk the course.

Origin of snap

1485–95; < Dutch or Low German snappen to bite, seize
Related formssnap·less, adjectivesnap·pa·ble, adjectivesnap·ping·ly, adverb
Can be confusedschnapps snaps Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for snap-off


verb snaps, snapping or snapped

to break or cause to break suddenly, esp with a sharp sound
to make or cause to make a sudden sharp cracking sound
(intr) to give way or collapse suddenly, esp from strain
to move, close, etc, or cause to move, close, etc, with a sudden sharp sound
to move or cause to move in a sudden or abrupt way
(intr; often foll by at or up) to seize something suddenly or quickly
(when intr, often foll by at) to bite at (something) bringing the jaws rapidly together
to speak (words) sharply or abruptly
(intr) (of eyes) to flash or sparkle
to take a snapshot of (something)
(intr) hunting to fire a quick shot without taking deliberate aim
(tr) American football to put (the ball) into play by sending it back from the line of scrimmage to a teammate
snap one's fingers at informal
  1. to dismiss with contempt
  2. to defy
snap out of it informal to recover quickly, esp from depression, anger, or illness


the act of breaking suddenly or the sound produced by a sudden breakage
a sudden sharp sound, esp of bursting, popping, or cracking
a catch, clasp, or fastener that operates with a snapping sound
a sudden grab or bite
the sudden release of something such as elastic thread
a brisk movement of the thumb against one or more fingers
a thin crisp biscuitginger snaps
informal See snapshot
informal vigour, liveliness, or energy
informal a task or job that is easy or profitable to do
a short spell or period, esp of cold weather
British dialect food, esp a packed lunch taken to work
British a card game in which the word snap is called when two cards of equal value are turned up on the separate piles dealt by each player
American football the start of each play when the centre passes the ball back from the line of scrimmage to a teammate
(modifier) done on the spur of the moment, without consideration or warninga snap decision
(modifier) closed or fastened with a snap


with a snap


  1. cardsthe word called while playing snap
  2. an exclamation used to draw attention to the similarity of two things
See also snap up
Derived Formssnapless, adjectivesnappable, adjective

Word Origin for snap

C15: from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch snappen to seize; related to Old Norse snapa to snuffle
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-off



late 15c., "quick, sudden bite or cut," from Dutch or Low German snappen "to snap," probably related to Middle Low German or Middle Dutch snavel "bill, beak," from West Germanic *snu-, an imitative root forming words having to do with the nose (see snout).

As an adjective from 1790. Commonly used to indicate instantaneous action, e.g. snap judgment (1841). Sense of "quick movement" is first recorded 1630s; that of "something easily done" is 1877. Meaning "brief or sudden spell" of weather (usually cold) is from 1740. Meaning "catch or fastener that closes with a snapping sound" is from 1815. The card game name is attested from 1881, from a call used in the game. Meaning "a snap-shot" is from 1894. U.S. football sense is from 1912, earlier snap-back (1880), which also was a name for the center position. Snap, Crackle and Pop, cartoon characters associated with Kellogg breakfast cereal Rice Krispies, are from 1940.



1520s, of animals, "to make a quick bite," from snap (n.). Meaning "to break suddenly or sharply" is first recorded c.1600; the mental sense is from 1970s. Meaning "come into place with a snap" is from 1793. Meaning "take a photograph" is from 1890. U.S. football sense first recorded 1887. Related: Snapped; snapping. To snap the fingers is from 1670s. Phrase snap out of it recorded by 1907. Snapping turtle is attested from 1784. Snap-brim (adj.) in reference to a type of hat is from 1928.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

snap-off in Medicine




A short sharp sound; a click. Used especially of cardiac sounds.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.