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noun, plural (especially collectively) snap·per, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) snap·pers for 1, 2; snap·pers for 3–5.
  1. any of several large marine food fishes of the family Lutjanidae.
  2. any of various other fishes, as the bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix.
  3. snapping turtle.
  4. Informal. a person in charge of a group of workers.
  5. a tuft or knot of cotton, horsehair, hemp, etc., at the tip of a whip's lash; cracker; popper.

Origin of snapper

First recorded in 1525–35; snap + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for snapper


noun plural -per or -pers
  1. any large sharp-toothed percoid food fish of the family Lutjanidae of warm and tropical coastal regionsSee also red snapper
  2. a sparid food fish, Chrysophrys auratus, of Australia and New Zealand, that has a pinkish body covered with blue spots
  3. another name for bluefish, snapping turtle
  4. a person or thing that snaps
  5. informal a person who takes snapshots; photographer
  6. Irish informal a baby
Also called (for senses 1, 2): schnapper
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 snapper

"one who or that which snaps," 1570s, agent noun from snap (v.). Applied to various fishes since 1690s. Slang meaning "vagina" is by 2000. As a short form of snapping turtle (1784) it is recorded from 1872. Snappers "teeth" is attested from 1924.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper