verb (used with object), snipped, snip·ping.
  1. to cut with a small, quick stroke, or a succession of such strokes, with scissors or the like.
  2. 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.
  1. to cut with small, quick strokes.
  1. the act of snipping, as with scissors.
  2. a small cut made by snipping.
  3. a small piece snipped off.
  4. a small piece, bit, or amount of anything: a snip of food.
  5. Informal. a small or insignificant person.
  6. Informal. a presumptuous or impertinent person.
  7. snips, small, strong hand shears used by sheet metal workers.
  8. British Informal. a bargain.

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. 2018

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


verb snips, snipping or snipped
  1. to cut or clip with a small quick stroke or a succession of small quick strokes, esp with scissors or shears
  1. the act of snipping
  2. the sound of scissors or shears closing
  3. Also called: snipping a small piece of anything, esp one that has been snipped off
  4. a small cut made by snipping
  5. mainly British an informal word for bargain
  6. informal something easily done; cinch
  7. US and Canadian informal a small or insignificant person or thing, esp an irritating or insolent one
  1. (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