the sport of swimming with a snorkel and face mask.

Origin of snorkeling

First recorded in 1945–50; snorkel + -ing1


[snawr-kuh l]


Also called, British, snort. a device permitting a submarine to remain submerged for prolonged periods, consisting of tubes extended above the surface of the water to take in air for the diesel engine and for general ventilation and to discharge exhaust gases and foul air.
a hard rubber or plastic tube through which a swimmer can breathe while moving face down at or just below the surface of the water.

verb (used without object)

to engage in snorkeling.

Origin of snorkel

First recorded in 1940–45, snorkel is from the German word Schnorchel air intake
Related formssnor·kel·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snorkeling

Contemporary Examples of snorkeling

Historical Examples of snorkeling

  • There's nothing that's more fun than snorkeling around the reefs.

    The Wailing Octopus

    Harold Leland Goodwin

  • Idyllic beach, placid water, and coral reef make this a perfect place for snorkeling and swimming.

  • Hanauma Bay—This idyllic tropical beach is a public park, just perfect for snorkeling, swimming and picnicking.

British Dictionary definitions for snorkeling



a device allowing a swimmer to breathe while face down on the surface of the water, consisting of a bent tube fitting into the mouth and projecting above the surface
(on a submarine) a retractable vertical device containing air-intake and exhaust pipes for the engines and general ventilation: its use permits extended periods of submergence at periscope depth
military a similar device on a tank, enabling it to cross shallow water obstacles
a type of parka or anorak with a hood that projects beyond the face

verb -kels, -kelling or -kelled or US -kels, -keling or -keled

(intr) to swim with a snorkel

Word Origin for snorkel

C20: from German Schnorchel; related to German schnarchen to snore
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 snorkeling



1944, "airshaft for submarines," from German Schnorchel, from German navy slang Schnorchel "nose, snout," related to schnarchen "to snore" (see snore (n.)). So called from its resemblance to a nose and its noise when in use. The anglicized spelling first recorded 1949. The meaning "curved tube used by a swimmer to breathe under water" is first recorded 1951.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper