View synonyms for snatch


[ snach ]

verb (used without object)

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

verb (used with object)

  1. to seize by a sudden or hasty grasp:

    He snatched the old lady's purse and ran.

  2. to take, get, secure, etc., suddenly or hastily.
  3. to rescue or save by prompt action:

    He snatched the baby from the fire.

  4. Slang. to kidnap.


  1. the act or an instance of snatching.
  2. a sudden motion to seize something; grab:

    He made a snatch as if to stop her.

  3. a bit, scrap, or fragment of something:

    snatches of conversation.

  4. a brief spell of effort, activity, or any experience:

    to work in snatches.

  5. Nautical. a sheave or projecting member serving as a fairlead.
  6. a brief period of time.
  7. Slang. an act of kidnapping.
  8. Slang: Vulgar. vulva; vagina.
  9. Weightlifting. a lift in which the barbell is brought in a single motion from the floor to an arms-extended position overhead.


/ snætʃ /


  1. tr to seize or grasp (something) suddenly or peremptorily

    he snatched the chocolate out of my hand

  2. intrusually foll byat to seize or attempt to seize suddenly
  3. tr to take hurriedly

    to snatch some sleep

  4. tr to remove suddenly

    she snatched her hand away

  5. tr to gain, win, or rescue, esp narrowly

    they snatched victory in the closing seconds

  6. tr (in weightlifting) to lift (a weight) with a snatch
  7. snatch one's time informal.
    to leave a job, taking whatever pay is due


  1. an act of snatching
  2. a fragment or small incomplete part

    snatches of conversation

  3. a brief spell

    snatches of time off

  4. weightlifting a lift in which the weight is raised in one quick motion from the floor to an overhead position
  5. slang.
    an act of kidnapping
  6. slang.
    a robbery

    a diamond snatch

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsnatcher, noun

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Other Words From

  • snatcha·ble adjective
  • snatcher noun
  • snatching·ly adverb
  • outsnatch verb (used with object)
  • un·snatched adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of snatch1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of snatch1

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

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Example Sentences

The most dramatic pounce on film may be the neck-stretching snatch by the Psorophora larva.

Rather than a chain or tow strap, which don’t stretch and therefore create very high momentary loads, an elastic snatch or kinetic strap or rope will help reduce forces and actually make it easier to get the vehicle unstuck.

“Both of y’all know, I’ve been collecting my little surgeons for that inevitable moment…that this grill right here is gonna get a little snatch, even though people think I have done it already, but I haven’t,” she told her mother and daughter.

Then, intermittently, traffic controllers were able to pick up snatches of conversation from AA-11′s cockpit.

It's not fun to conduct a hazardous snatch of an insurgent leader, only to find you grabbed the wrong guy.

In another change since his transit days, crooks now snatch cellphones, not gold chains.

It is easy for an unscrupulous individual to pose as an underground banker, snatch up several large deposits, then cut and run.

The company reported $2.4 billion in annual sales and could snatch a valuation as high as $5 billion.

Guests snatch up the eccentric-looking drinks that line the bar as they wander around before the performance.

Keep a starving man away from bread when he has only to stretch out his hand and snatch it.

You snatch me out of the cold cloister, but, in the bustling, ardent world you condemn me to the conventional chastity?

Jack Harvey had sent young Tim into the cabin to snatch a wink of sleep, and Joe had come up, heavy and dull.

Then, as the insect tumbled near her, she made a quick snatch at the glowing point of fire.

They were the real enemies of my children; they sought to snatch the crown; I saw them daily at work and they wore me out.


Related Words




snashsnatch block