Definition of snipe in English:


Line breaks: snipe
Pronunciation: /snʌɪp

noun (plural same or snipes)

  • A wading bird of marshes and wet meadows, with brown camouflaged plumage, a long straight bill, and typically a drumming display flight.
    • Gallinago and other genera, family Scolopacidae: several species, e.g. the common snipe (G. gallinago)
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    • But with the help of his son and his father, he managed to find time to ensure his hectares became an ideal home for lapwings, redshanks, snipes and curlews.
    • The shocking results from the county are that no breeding pairs of curlew, lapwing, redshank, snipe or oystercatcher were recorded on the sites surveyed.
    • Once common species such as the snipe, lapwing and curlew have seen declines of up to 73 per cent; birds like the twite, a moorland version of the linnet, are now gone from some parts of the park.


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  • 1Shoot at someone from a hiding place, especially accurately and at long range: the soldiers in the trench sniped at us
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    • We were warned going in last night that we would face being sniped at, shot at, and sure enough the Marines went along that route and we were hit last night.
    • Fitted to a rifle, the system could also be used for medium range sniping.
    • A few miles away insurgents sniped at U.S. forces and clashes erupted across the city.
  • 2Make a sly or petty verbal attack: the state governor constantly sniped at the president (as noun sniping) there has been some sniping about inept leadership
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    • The prize - launched in 1981 - has also endured sniping from critics who claim it is no longer as important as it once was.
    • Critics sniped that while his work was solid laboratory chemistry, others were responsible for the brilliant advances that made it possible.
    • And that may explain why the elitists in those various fields keep working so hard to discredit and snipe at him.
  • 3 (often as noun sniping) (In an online auction) place a bid judged to be high enough to win an item just before the bidding is scheduled to close: sellers love sniping because it drives up prices I regularly snipe 10 to 5 seconds before the end of eBay auctions
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    • He found that with inexpensive, widely available items—like DVDs of recent movies—sniping doesn't really affect final prices.
    • I didn't know all the tricks, and was outbid in the closing minute in a tactic known as ‘sniping’.
    • A bidder who ‘snipes’ is like a stock-market trader who ‘steps in front’ of investors by beating their price by a few pennies.
  • 3.1 [with object] Outbid (another bidder in an online auction) just before the bidding is scheduled to close: what is the point of sitting around for a seven-day auction when half the time you get sniped at the last second
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    • I got sniped again today, with 6 seconds to go.
    • You can only get sniped if you're not willing to pay what you think something is worth.
    • A couple of collectors always track the auctions he bids on, and have sniped him in the past.



More example sentences
  • Ballistics experts were running tests to see if the sniper was behind the shooting.
  • You have control of snipers, machine gunners and infantrymen as well as scores of armoured vehicles and rocket launchers.
  • City have, after all, already answered their pre-season critics and snipers in the most perfect way possible.


Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with Icelandic mýrisnípa; obscurely related to Dutch snip and German Schnepfe.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little