[ snahyp ]
See synonyms for: snipesnipedsnipingsniper on

noun,plural snipes, (especially collectively) snipe for 1, 2.
  1. Also British, snite [snahyt] /snaɪt/ . any of several long-billed game birds of the genera Gallinago (sometimes Capella) and Limnocryptes, inhabiting marshy areas, as G. gallinago(com·mon snipe, orwhole snipe ), of Eurasia and North America, having barred and striped white, brown, and black plumage.

  2. any of several other long-billed birds, as some sandpipers.

  1. a shot, usually from a hidden position.

verb (used without object),sniped, snip·ing.
  1. to shoot or hunt snipe.

  2. to shoot at individuals as opportunity offers from a concealed or distant position: The enemy was sniping from the roofs.

  1. to attack a person or a person's work with petulant or snide criticism, especially anonymously or from a safe distance.

Origin of snipe

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English snype (noun), from Old Norse -snīpa (in mȳrisnīpa “moor snipe”); cognate with Norwegian snipa, Icelandic snīpa; compare Danish sneppe, German Schnepfe

Other words from snipe

  • snipe·like, adjective
  • snip·er, noun
  • coun·ter·snip·er, noun

Words Nearby snipe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use snipe in a sentence

  • Dottrel and yellow silk,—inside of snipe's wing, and pale yellow silk,—hooks No. 2.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • Light Blue,—inside of snipe's wing,—body light Drab silk,—tail and legs grizzled hackle.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • Light Blue,—inside of snipe's wing,—light drab silk for body,—legs and tail grizzled hackle.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • The blood was pouring from the wound, and he lay motionless, with the snipe dead on the ground about six inches from his nose.

British Dictionary definitions for snipe


/ (snaɪp) /

nounplural snipe or snipes
  1. any of various birds of the genus Gallinago (or Capella) and related genera, such as G. gallinago (common or Wilson's snipe), of marshes and river banks, having a long straight bill: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes

  2. any of various similar related birds, such as certain sandpipers and curlews

  1. a shot, esp a gunshot, fired from a place of concealment

  1. (when intr, often foll by at) to attack (a person or persons) with a rifle from a place of concealment

  2. (intr often foll by at) to criticize adversely a person or persons from a position of security

  1. (intr) to hunt or shoot snipe

Origin of snipe

C14: from Old Norse snīpa; related to Old High German snepfa Middle Dutch snippe

Derived forms of snipe

  • snipelike, adjective

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