• synonyms


[snoo k-er, snoo-ker]
See more synonyms for snooker on Thesaurus.com
  1. a variety of pool played with 15 red balls and 6 balls of colors other than red, in which a player must shoot one of the red balls, each with a point value of 1, into a pocket before shooting at one of the other balls, with point values of from 2 to 7.
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verb (used with object)
  1. Slang. to deceive, cheat, or dupe: to be snookered by a mail order company.
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Origin of snooker

First recorded in 1885–90; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for snookered

obstruct, thwart, stonewall, foil, stall, impede, crimp, mystify, prevent, cramp, stump, nonplus, defeat, pigeonhole, confound, corner, crab, shelve, balk, puzzle

Examples from the Web for snookered

Historical Examples of snookered

  • He went to bed wondering how he'd ever let himself get snookered into the deal.

    First on the Moon

    Jeff Sutton

  • There was a time when a remark like that would have had me snookered.

    Right Ho, Jeeves

    P. G. Wodehouse

  • A player is “snookered” if his ball is so placed that he cannot hit a ball on which he is compelled to play.

British Dictionary definitions for snookered


  1. a game played on a billiard table with 15 red balls, six balls of other colours, and a white cue ball. The object is to pot the balls in a certain order
  2. a shot in which the cue ball is left in a position such that another ball blocks the object ball. The opponent is then usually forced to play the cue ball off a cushion
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verb (tr)
  1. to leave (an opponent) in an unfavourable position by playing a snooker
  2. to place (someone) in a difficult situation
  3. (often passive) to thwart; defeat
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Word Origin for snooker

C19: 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 snookered



1889, the game and the word said in an oft-told story to have been invented in India by British officers as a diversion from billiards. The name is perhaps a reference (with regard to the rawness of play by a fellow officer) to British slang snooker "newly joined cadet" (1872). Tradition ascribes the coinage to Col. Sir Neville Chamberlain (not the later prime minister of the same name), at the time subaltern in the Devonshire Regiment in Jubbulpore.

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"to cheat," early 1900s, from snooker (n.), probably because in the game novices can easily be tricked. Related: Snookered; snookering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper