Definition of snatch in English:

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Pronunciation: /snaCH/


[with object]
1Quickly seize (something) in a rude or eager way: she snatched a cookie from the plate figurative a victory snatched from the jaws of defeat
More example sentences
  • ‘She'll take them,’ R'kar said quickly, snatching the mug of water and the pills from Trakk before all hell could break loose.
  • They caught up with him, dragged him, snatched the money box and started beating him up.
  • Sheng attempted to snatch his licence back tearing its plastic cover in the process and refused to sign the ticket.
grab, seize, take hold of, get one's hands on, take, pluck;
grasp at, clutch at
1.1 informal Steal (something) or kidnap (someone), typically by seizing or grabbing suddenly: a mission to snatch Winston Churchill
More example sentences
  • Police still searching for the masked robbers who snatched the national treasures.
  • The thief snatched the van's keys from a postman at 9.45 am in Wimborne Avenue, St Paul's Cray.
  • A thief on a motorbike snatched a handbag, containing £100, from an elderly woman.
1.2 [no object] (snatch at) Hastily or ineffectually attempt to seize (something): she snatched at the handle
More example sentences
  • Each splutter sprayed scarlet beads over her ghost-white frame, and over Raven when Nelly snatched at her shoulders in an attempt to steady herself.
  • Grypps stepped forward, and snatched at his upper arm, attempting to pull the young man to his feet.
  • He tries to shirk her off, and still she snatches at his arm, holding on till he cringes with pleasure.
1.3Quickly secure or obtain (something) when a chance presents itself: we snatched a few hours' sleep
More example sentences
  • The stunning victory has shot Yorkshire up into third place and given them an outside chance of snatching the title but it left Lancashire firmly nailed to the bottom of the table with relegation now looking unavoidable.
  • Jason Enright did have a chance of snatching a late equaliser but his effort from 40 metres and a difficult angle sailed wide of the posts as the final whistle greeted the kick-out.
  • A Coleraine win was probably never in doubt, but the more Newry held them out in the cold and blustery conditions, the more Ralph felt they had a chance of snatching a point.
seize, pluck, wrest, achieve, secure, obtain;
1.4 [no object] (snatch at) Eagerly take or accept (an offer or opportunity): I snatched at the chance
More example sentences
  • Having spent two months on loan at Bradford two years ago, Combe snatched at the opportunity to return to Valley Parade permanently at the beginning of last season, only for injury to stall his fresh start.
  • But the full back snatched at the opportunity and ballooned the ball well over the top.
  • Some telecoms experts familiar with the cable industry believe that NTL shareholders should snatch at an offer of $35 a share if Providence is willing to make it.


1An act of snatching or quickly seizing something: a quick snatch of breath
More example sentences
  • There was a distinct element of evil in his grin as he ripped the plaster off in one quick snatch, taking a few small but exceedingly painful hairs with it.
  • A break from John Williams following a snatch from the scrum by Rick Greenwood near the Silsden posts caught Emley on the back foot.
1.1A short spell of doing something: brief snatches of sleep
1.2A fragment of song or talk: picking up snatches of conversation
More example sentences
  • During these lessons, he came to know, between songs, in snatches of conversation, that Mr. Chatterjee had got his two-year extension at the helm of the company.
  • I was sitting on the desk staring out the window at the lights of Mainport and humming disjointed snatches of dimly remembered songs.
  • Bernie came across Overheard in Dublin, a site where readers send in snatches of conversation caught around town.
1.3 informal A kidnapping or theft.
Example sentences
  • Following a number of assaults, bag snatches and break-ins, the manager of the complex, David Peters, organised patrols of the area by uniformed private security guards.
  • Victim Support gives practical help and emotional support to victims of crime, from handbag snatches to burglaries, rape and killings.
  • Police will launch a six-month crackdown on street crime on Monday to cut muggings and phone and bag snatches in Kingston.
2 Weightlifting The rapid raising of a weight from the floor to above the head in one movement.
Example sentences
  • We did a lot of power movements, like cleans, squats, snatches, deadlifts and bench presses.
  • To execute the snatch, lift a weight off the floor and overhead in one smooth movement.
  • For six weeks, include higher-rep snatches, cleans and squats in your weight training.
3 vulgar slang A woman’s genitals.



Pronunciation: /ˈsnaCHər/
Example sentences
  • Kamwala was a haven of criminals, pick-pockets, murderers and bag snatchers and it was a miracle for any one to board a bus without brushing shoulders with criminals or losing the goodies purchased for our old folks in the village.
  • Officers in Doncaster have also started Operation Arrow Two, a high-visibility street crime initiative, targeting known criminals, in particular bag and purse snatchers.
  • Electronic remote central locking and power windows in modern cars have many advantages against carjackers, bag snatchers, etc. but have people thought of the dangers?


Pronunciation: /ˈsnaCHē/
Example sentences
  • That extra tail-weight partly explains why the Octavia feels eager to point into a corner despite its soft and very comfortable springing, making it a surprisingly enjoyable car for a keen driver, apart from the overly snatchy brakes.
  • The accelerator response can be snatchy, there is engine surge in traffic and occasionally the transmission clonks.
  • Turn in is immediate and roll free, although braking while approaching a corner can be a bit snatchy.


Middle English sna(c)che (verb) 'suddenly snap at', (noun) 'a snare'; perhaps related to snack.

Words that rhyme with snatch

attach, batch, catch, crosshatch, detach, hatch, latch, match, mismatch, natch, outmatch, patch, scratch, thatch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: snatch

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