American English

Definition of snap verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    breakVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they snap
    he / she / it snaps
    past simple snapped
    -ing form snapping
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to break something suddenly with a sharp noise; to be broken in this way snap something The wind had snapped the tree in two. snap something off (something) He snapped a twig off a bush. snap (off) Suddenly, the rope snapped. The branch she was standing on must have snapped off.
  2. open/close/move into position
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to move, or to move something, into a particular position quickly, especially with a sudden sharp noise + adj. The lid snapped shut. His eyes snapped open. + adv./prep. He snapped to attention and saluted. snap something + adj. She snapped the bag shut.
  4. speak impatiently
  5. 3[transitive, intransitive] to speak or say something in an impatient, usually angry, voice + speech “Don't just stand there,” she snapped. snap (at somebody) I was tempted to snap back angrily at him. snap something He snapped a reply.
  6. of animal
  7. 4[intransitive] snap (at somebody/something) to try to bite someone or something synonym nip The dogs snarled and snapped at our heels.
  8. take photograph
  9. 5[transitive, intransitive] (informal) to take a photograph snap something A passing tourist snapped the incident. snap (away) She seemed oblivious to the crowds of photographers snapping away.
  10. lose control
  11. 6[intransitive] to suddenly be unable to control your feelings any longer because the situation has become too difficult My patience finally snapped. When he said that, something snapped inside her. And that did it. I snapped.
  12. fasten clothing
  13. 7[intransitive, transitive] snap (something) to fasten a piece of clothing with a snap
  14. in football
  15. 8[transitive] snap something to pass the ball with a quick backward movement from the ground to start a period of play With four seconds left, he snapped the ball for one last play.
  16. Idioms
    bite/snap somebody's head off (informal)
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    to shout at someone in an angry way, especially without reason
    snap your fingers
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    to make a sharp noise by moving your second or third finger quickly against your thumb, to attract someone's attention, or to mark the beat of music, for example He snapped his fingers for the waiter to bring more wine.
    snap out of it/something, snap somebody out of it/something [no passive] (informal)
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    to make an effort to stop feeling unhappy or depressed; to help someone to stop feeling unhappy You've been depressed for weeks. It's time you snapped out of it.
    snap to it (informal)
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    used, especially in orders, to tell someone to start working harder or more quickly
    Phrasal Verbssnap somethingoutsnap somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: snap