[ snob ]
/ snɒb /


a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

Nearby words

  1. snite,
  2. snivel,
  3. snivelling,
  4. snively,
  5. sno-cat,
  6. snob appeal,
  7. snobbery,
  8. snobbish,
  9. snobbishly,
  10. snobby

Origin of snob

First recorded in 1775–85; orig. uncert; first used as a nickname for a cobbler or cobbler's apprentice, hence a townsman, someone of low class or lacking good breeding, commoner, hence someone who imitates persons of higher rank

Related formsan·ti·snob, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snob

British Dictionary definitions for snob


/ (snɒb) /


  1. a person who strives to associate with those of higher social status and who behaves condescendingly to othersCompare inverted snob
  2. (as modifier)snob appeal
a person having similar pretensions with regard to his tastes, etcan intellectual snob
Derived Forms

Word Origin for snob

C18 (in the sense: shoemaker; hence, C19: a person who flatters those of higher station, etc): 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 snob



1781, "a shoemaker, a shoemaker's apprentice," of unknown origin. It came to be used in Cambridge University slang c.1796, often contemptuously, for "townsman, local merchant," and passed then into literary use, where by 1831 it was being used for "person of the ordinary or lower classes." Meaning "person who vulgarly apes his social superiors" is by 1843, popularized 1848 by William Thackeray's "Book of Snobs." The meaning later broadened to include those who insist on their gentility, in addition to those who merely aspire to it, and by 1911 the word had its main modern sense of "one who despises those considered inferior in rank, attainment, or taste."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper