[ snich ]
/ snɪtʃ /
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verb (used with object) Informal.
to snatch or steal; pilfer.
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Origin of snitch

First recorded in 1900–05; perhaps variant of snatch

Words nearby snitch

Other definitions for snitch (2 of 2)

[ snich ]
/ snɪtʃ /

verb (used without object)
to turn informer; tattle.
Also called snitcher. an informer.

Origin of snitch

First recorded in 1775–85; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does snitch mean?

Snitch is an insulting name for a person who informs the police or other authorities when others break the law or the rules.

Snitch can refer to an informant who reports a crime or a tattletale who tells on someone, especially to their parents or to a teacher. It can also be used as a verb meaning to inform on or tattle on someone. All uses of this sense of the word are intended to be negative and very insulting.

Less commonly, snitch can be used as a verb meaning to steal, or as a noun meaning the nose.

In the Harry Potter series of books and movies, the golden snitch is the small flying object in the game of quidditch that gets chased after by players called seekers (including Harry Potter himself). Capturing the snitch wins the game for one’s team.

Example: We call you a snitch because you snitched on us for snitching the snitch from McGonagall’s office! Next time keep your mouth shut!

Where does snitch come from?

The first records of snitch comes from the late 1600s, when it referred to a nose. By the late 1700s, it had come to be used as a negative slang term for an informant. By the 1800s, it was used as a verb meaning “to inform or tattle on.” Records of it meaning “to steal” don’t appear until the early 1900s. In this last sense, it may have originated as a variant of the verb snatch. In all other cases, its origin is unknown. (If someone knows it, they’re keeping their mouth shut.)

The person who police call an informant or an informer is called a snitch by criminals. That’s because they don’t want to get snitched on and caught. When it’s used by kids, snitch means much the same thing as tattletale, but it’s perhaps intended to be even more insulting. Snitch is used in the phrase snitches get stitches, in which stitches refers to sutures for a wound, implying a threat of violence to anyone who informs the authorities about people who break the rules. This gives a sense of how snitch is used as an insult. It implies that reporting a crime or other offense is the real offense—that the snitch should have kept quiet about it.

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What are some other forms related to snitch?

  • snitcher (noun)

What are some synonyms for snitch?

What are some words that share a root or word element with snitch



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How is snitch used in real life?

Regardless of whether it refers to a classroom tattletale or a criminal informant, snitch is always used negatively. When used this way, the term often implies that a person snitches on people habitually.



Try using snitch!

Is snitch used correctly in the following sentence?

Sally got a reputation as a snitch and a goody-goody for telling on the kids who were cheating, but graduating first in her class was her revenge.

How to use snitch in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for snitch

/ (snɪtʃ) slang /

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

Derived forms of snitch

snitcher, 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