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snatch

[snach]
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a sudden effort to seize something, as with the hand; grab (usually followed by at).
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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.
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noun
  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.
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Origin of snatch

1175–1225; Middle English snacche (noun), snacchen (v.) < ?; cognate with Middle Dutch snacken
Related formssnatch·a·ble, adjectivesnatch·er, nounsnatch·ing·ly, adverbout·snatch, verb (used with object)un·snatched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for snatcher

Historical Examples of snatcher

  • "It's a corrupt form for snatcher," retorted the March Hare.

    Alice in Blunderland

    John Kendrick Bangs

  • He said the snatcher was smarter than Auntie and he hoped it would teach her a lesson.

    Dorothy's Travels

    Evelyn Raymond

  • At length the Snatcher is weary and pretends to leave the shop.

  • The Snatcher, who is no other than the Tiger in human form, darts at the Pig.

  • And the snatcher, w'ich was Wicked Willie, relieves 'im of it gently.

    The Incendiary

    W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy


British Dictionary definitions for snatcher

snatch

verb
  1. (tr) to seize or grasp (something) suddenly or peremptorilyhe snatched the chocolate out of my hand
  2. (intr usually foll by at) to seize or attempt to seize suddenly
  3. (tr) to take hurriedlyto snatch some sleep
  4. (tr) to remove suddenlyshe snatched her hand away
  5. (tr) to gain, win, or rescue, esp narrowlythey snatched victory in the closing seconds
  6. (tr) (in weightlifting) to lift (a weight) with a snatch
  7. snatch one's time Australian informal to leave a job, taking whatever pay is due
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noun
  1. an act of snatching
  2. a fragment or small incomplete partsnatches of conversation
  3. a brief spellsnatches 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, mainly US an act of kidnapping
  6. British slang a robberya diamond snatch
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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 snatcher

n.

1570s, agent noun from snatch (v.).

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snatch

v.

early 13c., "make a sudden snap or bite" (at something), of uncertain origin; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *snæccan or Middle Dutch snacken "to snatch, chatter." Cf. snack (n.). Meaning "lay hold of suddenly" is from early 14c.; especially "take from someone's hands" (1580s). Weight-lifting sense is attested from 1928. Related: Snatched; snatching.

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snatch

n.

c.1300, "a trap, snare," from snatch (v.). Meaning "a sudden grab" is from 1570s; that of "a small amount" is from 1590s. Sense in weight-lifting is from 1928. Vulgar slang sense of "vulva" is recorded from 1903; a much older venereal sense was "sexual intercourse quickly performed" (1580s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper