adjective, snip·pi·er, snip·pi·est.

sharp or curt, especially in a supercilious or haughty way; impertinent.
scrappy or fragmentary.

Also snip·pe·ty [snip-i-tee] /ˈsnɪp ɪ ti/.

Origin of snippy

First recorded in 1720–30; snip + -y1
Related formssnip·pi·ly, adverbsnip·pi·ness, snip·pet·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snippy

Contemporary Examples of snippy

Historical Examples of snippy

  • "She was sort of snippy about it," Alice returned, ascending the stairs.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • She was snippy to me two or three times and I won't stand that.

    Working With the Working Woman

    Cornelia Stratton Parker

  • I—I don't wish to be snippy, you know, but you should not forget that he is your father.

  • It was that snippy little Marjorie Lowry with the baby face, wasn't it?

  • "One of the snippy kind, back-talkin' an' peevish," said Miranda.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

British Dictionary definitions for snippy


adjective -pier or -piest

scrappy; fragmentary
informal fault-finding
dialect mean; stingy
Derived Formssnippily, adverbsnippiness, noun
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 snippy

1727, "parsimonious;" 1848, "fault-finding, sharp;" 1886, "fragmentary;" from snip (n.) + -y (2). Related: Snippily; snippiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper