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

Related Words for snips

shred, shear, nip, cut, slice, trim, shorten, clip

Examples from the Web for snips

Historical Examples of snips

British Dictionary definitions for snips


pl n

a small pair of shears used for cutting sheet metalAlso called: tin snips


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 snips

"small, stout-handled shears for metal-working," 1846, from snip (v.).



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