verb (used without object)

to make a sudden effort to seize something, as with the hand; grab (usually followed by at).

verb (used with object)


Nearby words

  1. snarl,
  2. snarl-up,
  3. snarler,
  4. snarly,
  5. snash,
  6. snatch block,
  7. snatch squad,
  8. snatcher,
  9. snatchy,
  10. snath

Origin of snatch

1175–1225; Middle English snacche (noun), snacchen (v.) < ?; cognate with Middle Dutch snacken

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snatch

British Dictionary definitions for snatch



(tr) to seize or grasp (something) suddenly or peremptorilyhe snatched the chocolate out of my hand
(intr usually foll by at) to seize or attempt to seize suddenly
(tr) to take hurriedlyto snatch some sleep
(tr) to remove suddenlyshe snatched her hand away
(tr) to gain, win, or rescue, esp narrowlythey snatched victory in the closing seconds
(tr) (in weightlifting) to lift (a weight) with a snatch
snatch one's time Australian informal to leave a job, taking whatever pay is due


an act of snatching
a fragment or small incomplete partsnatches of conversation
a brief spellsnatches of time off
weightlifting a lift in which the weight is raised in one quick motion from the floor to an overhead position
slang, mainly US an act of kidnapping
British slang a robberya diamond snatch
Derived Formssnatcher, noun

Word Origin for snatch

C13 snacchen; related to Middle Dutch snakken to gasp, Old Norse snaka to sniff around

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 snatch
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper