verb (used with object), snipped, snip·ping.

to cut with a small, quick stroke, or a succession of such strokes, with scissors or the like.
to remove or cut off (something) by or as by cutting in this manner: to snip a rose.

verb (used without object), snipped, snip·ping.

to cut with small, quick strokes.



Origin of snip

1550–60; origin uncertain; compare Dutch, Low German snippen to snip, catch, clip
Related formsun·snipped, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snip

Contemporary Examples of snip

Historical Examples of snip

  • And Snip did go at him, as if he would "tear him limb from limb," as the story-books say.

  • And, to cover his confusion, Pete laughed till the scraas of the roof began to snip.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Then Lucy might tell Caroline to snip off the bloom and give it to her.

  • She spoke hesitatingly, for the sight of Snip and Snap had reminded her of their habits.

  • “Why, Snip and Snap,” said Maisie eagerly, still holding back.

British Dictionary definitions for snip


verb snips, snipping or snipped

to cut or clip with a small quick stroke or a succession of small quick strokes, esp with scissors or shears


the act of snipping
the sound of scissors or shears closing
Also called: snipping a small piece of anything, esp one that has been snipped off
a small cut made by snipping
mainly British an informal word for bargain
informal something easily done; cinch
US and Canadian informal a small or insignificant person or thing, esp an irritating or insolent one


(often reiterated) a representation of the sound of scissors or shears closing
See also snips

Word Origin for snip

C16: from Low German, Dutch snippen; related to Middle High German snipfen to snap the fingers
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 snip

1550s, "small piece of cut-out cloth," probably from Dutch or Low German snippen "to snip, shred," of imitative origin. Meaning "cut made by scissors" is from 1590s. As a nickname or cant word for a tailor, 1590s. Snip-snap-snorum, the card game, is 1755, from Low German.


"to cut at one light, quick stroke," 1580s, from snip (n.). Related: Snipped; snipping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper