verb (used with object) Informal.

to snatch or steal; pilfer.

Origin of snitch

First recorded in 1900–05; perhaps variant of snatch



verb (used without object)

to turn informer; tattle.


Also called snitch·er. an informer.

Origin of snitch

First recorded in 1775–85; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snitch

Contemporary Examples of snitch

Historical Examples of snitch

  • Snitch, to give information to the police, to turn approver.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • "Now, I'm not going to snitch on my mates," said McCarty decidedly.

  • The computers I love are being co-opted, used to spy on us, control us, snitch on us.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • A promise is a promise, especially to a small boy who scorns to "snitch."

  • Will you promise not to snitch if I tell you how to stop it, even if you don't go there yourself?

    The White Moll

    Frank L. Packard

British Dictionary definitions for snitch



(tr) to steal; take, esp in an underhand way
(intr) to act as an informer


an informer; telltale
the nose
Derived Formssnitcher, noun

Word Origin for snitch

C17: of unknown origin
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 snitch

"informer," 1785, probably from underworld slang meaning "the nose" (1700), which apparently developed from an earlier meaning "fillip on the nose" (1670s). Snitcher in same sense is from 1827.


1803, "to inform," from snitch (n.). Meaning "to steal, pilfer" is attested from 1904, perhaps a variant of snatch (v.). Related: Snitched; snitching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper