Definition of snip in English:


Line breaks: snip
Pronunciation: /snɪp

verb (snips, snipping, snipped)

[with object]


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  • 1An act of snipping something: he took a snip at a dandelion on the grass
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    • The tips should be sharp enough to trim closely with a single snip.
    • The blades came to the end of their path with a sharp snip; one hand caught the strip before it could fall and laid it down carefully among a neat pile of equally-curled strips.
    • After a few snips here and there, Tara looked into the mirror, and her face lit up.
    cut, clip, trim; slit, nick, gash, notch, incision, snick
  • 1.1A small piece of something that has been snipped off: the collage consists of snips of wallpaper
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    • They don't just only look hugely attractive; they will also deliver snips of foliage to enliven your cooking all summer.
    scrap, cutting, shred, strip, ribbon, rag, snippet, remnant, fragment, sliver, splinter, chip, bit, tiny bit, piece, tiny piece, speck, crumb, spot, fleck, wisp
  • 1.2 (the snip) British informal A vasectomy: about 6,000 men get the snip every year, and numbers are increasing
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    • What are people's thoughts about getting the snip to prevent pregnancy either for men or women?
    • But remarriages now account for nearly 40% of weddings, and the decision to have the 'snip' can come to be bitterly regretted.
    • Scientists have developed a new vasectomy technique which cuts the surgeon's scalpel out of "the snip" and replaces it with short blasts of high-frequency ultrasound, a science magazine said recently.
  • 3 (snips) Shears for cutting metal: tin snips
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    • They had tried everything: pliers, tin snips, saws, even a blow torch.
    • Rolled Vinyl with Aluminum channel backing requires a hammer, nails, metal snips and a tape measure.
    • The material is held down with standard roofing nails, and can be cut with snips or a utility knife.
  • 4North American informal A small or insignificant person: imagine that little snip telling me I was wrong!


mid 16th century (in the sense 'a shred'): from Low German snip 'small piece', of imitative origin.

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a slit made by cutting with a saw