the distinctive headband formerly worn by young unmarried women in Scotland and northern England.
a headband for the hair.
a netlike hat or part of a hat or fabric that holds or covers the back of a woman's hair.
the pendulous skin over the beak of a turkey.

verb (used with object)

to bind or confine (the hair) with a snood.

Origin of snood

before 900; Middle English: fillet, ribbon; Old English snōd Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snood

Historical Examples of snood

  • A snood or fillet of blue ribbon confined her luxuriant hair.


    Henry Peterson

  • A northern term for a snood or link of horse-hair for a fishing-line.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • If the snood does not break you have him dangling in the air.

    Wild Life Near Home

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • It is the rich materials of snood, plaid, and brooch that betray her birth.

    The Lady of the Lake

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Tied round the wimple they sometimes had a snood, or band of silk.

    English Costume

    Dion Clayton Calthrop

British Dictionary definitions for snood



a pouchlike hat, often of net, loosely holding a woman's hair at the back
a headband, esp one formerly worn by young unmarried women in Scotland
vet science a long fleshy appendage that hangs over the upper beak of turkeys


(tr) to hold (the hair) in a snood

Word Origin for snood

Old English snōd; of obscure 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 snood

Old English snod "ribbon for the hair," from Proto-Germanic *snodo (cf. Swedish snod "string, cord"), from PIE root *(s)ne- "to spin, sew" (cf. Lettish snate "a linen cover," Old Irish snathe "thread;" see needle (n.)). In the Middle Ages, typically worn by young unmarried girls, hence "It was held to be emblematic of maidenhood or virginity" [Century Dictionary]. Modern fashion meaning "bag-like hair net" first recorded 1938 (these also were worn by girls in the Middle Ages, but they are not snoods properly).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper