There are 2 main definitions of snag in English:

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snag 1

Syllabification: snag


1An unexpected or hidden obstacle or drawback: the picture’s US release hit a snag
More example sentences
  • However the Government's plans to address the problem have hit a snag, with the newly appointed coordinator quitting before his job has even begun.
  • When he was discharged in 1946, he began arranging for Harry James, but his career hit a snag when bebop, an intellectual genre that he rebuffed, became the rage.
  • The Times-Metro deal hit a snag in January, when the Justice Department announced it was investigating possible antitrust ramifications.
2A sharp, angular, or jagged projection: keep an emery board handy in case of nail snags
More example sentences
  • When I raised my binoculars to a snag, or jagged top, of a broken, burned-out tree, I found myself locked in a gaze with a female on her nest.
  • Eventually, I spotted a bird perched atop a snag far below me.
  • We found that larger snags had indeed higher densities of wood-boring beetle larva entrance holes than smaller snags.
sharp projection, jag;
thorn, spur
2.1A rent or tear in fabric caused by a sharp or jagged projection.
Example sentences
  • You need to point out to your cleaner all stains, fabric pills, snags, minor repairs, and also point out style nuances, for instance, if you want your collar to stand up or you wear the cuffs rolled up.
  • A blunt needle can cause snags, holes or runs in seams and topstitching.
  • Knits and other stretchy fabrics are an open invitation to snags.
tear, rip, hole, gash, slash;
3North American A dead tree.
Example sentences
  • Weak cavity excavators, chickadees nest in hardwood snags, dead limbs, or knot-holes of live trees.
  • The crossdating of white cedar and jack pine snags was accomplished using previously developed chronologies from the same area.
  • Even in the relatively rare event that a fire does kill an old-growth stand, the remaining trees and snags provide valuable nesting habitat for large birds of prey and other forest species.

verb (snags, snagging, snagged)

[with object] Back to top  
1Catch or tear (something) on a projection: thorns snagged his sweater
More example sentences
  • He sat down next to the boy and snagged his bag of chips, tearing it open.
  • A branch snagged his shirt sleeve, and he tore a hole as he yanked himself free.
  • It's just slightly bigger than a Fig Newton with two tire irons snapped to the side, with no sharp edges or protruding tools to snag jersey pockets or cut spare tubes.
1.1 [no object] Become caught on a projection: radio aerials snagged on bushes and branches
More example sentences
  • Divers have become lost inside the wreck or fouled on loose cables or caught by fishing nets snagged on the hull and drowned at the bottom.
  • Fishing over and around structures often will produce results when you cannot catch fish elsewhere, although fishing lures may become snagged on structures and lost.
  • Mr Metcalf, who was based at Ramsbottom Fire Station, dived for the boy but his rope became snagged on an underwater branch and he became submerged himself.
catch, get caught, hook
1.2North American informal Catch or obtain (someone or something): it’s the first time they’ve snagged the star for a photo


sense 2 of the noun.
Example sentences
  • The hooks should be routinely checked as the points can ‘turn’ when fishing over rough or snaggy ground.
  • In very rough seas full of weed and maybe fishing over snaggy ground, then change the reel for a tougher 7500-type multiplier filled with 20 to 25 lb line.
  • Weirpools are notorious for being snaggy, for the intricacies of the currents ensures that all manner of flotsam and jetsam is carried round in the eddies and backflows until the debris becomes waterlogged and sinks.


Late 16th century (sense 2 of the noun): probably of Scandinavian origin. The early sense 'stump sticking out from a tree trunk' gave rise to a US sense 'submerged piece of timber obstructing navigation', of which sense 1 is originally a figurative use. Current verb senses arose in the 19th century.

Words that rhyme with snag

bag, blag, brag, Bragg, crag, dag, drag, flag, gag, hag, jag, lag, mag, nag, quag, rag, sag, scrag, slag, sprag, stag, swag, tag, wag, zag
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There are 2 main definitions of snag in English:

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snag 2 Line breaks: snag

Entry from British & World English dictionary


Australian /NZ informal
A sausage: I make my own snags, my own pies and pasties
More example sentences
  • We generally prefer snags with tomato sauce and white bread.
  • Officially crowned sausage king of the Traditional Australian and Gourmet class snags, Mr Barritt said using local ingredients and staff was the key to his success.
  • Arthur Chisolm, a 72-year-old volunteer who took great care when turning his snags on the hotplate, said more sausages would be sold during the school holidays, but he was unsure how many.


1940s: of unknown origin.

Definition of snag in:
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