Definition of snooker in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsnuːkə/


[mass noun]
1A game played with cues on a billiard table in which the players use a cue ball (white) to pocket the other balls (fifteen red and six coloured) in a set order: [as modifier]: a snooker hall a snooker tournament
More example sentences
  • The balls are 61.5mm in diameter, much larger than in snooker or billiards.
  • A committee meeting will be held on Thursday night, names are being taken for the first tournament of the year, billiards and snooker, so we hope for a big response.
  • There what I found was many ladies tend to take part in pool and they also compete in international tournaments even when it comes to billiards and snooker.
1.1 [count noun] A position in a game of snooker or pool in which a player cannot make a direct shot at any permitted ball: he needed a snooker to have a chance of winning the frame
More example sentences
  • Leading 5-3 at the end of the afternoon session he won a remarkable opening frame last night by scoring 16 penalty points from two snookers and two free balls to take the frame when all had seemed lost.
  • He gave me a frame when I was 26 in front with six reds on and then he's played on in the next frame after that when he needed three snookers.
  • Hunter put Stevens in a snooker on the yellow, and the Welshman attempted a daring escape through the narrowest of gaps.


[with object]
1Subject (oneself or one’s opponent) to a snooker: he potted yellow and green, and then snookered Davis on the brown Hendry led, but then snookered himself
More example sentences
  • On his first visit Tony cleared the rest of his spots but snookered himself on the black.
  • Unfortunately, having potted his first (and only ball as it turned out to be) Richard snookered himself.
  • But the initiative was handed back to him after Dott snookered himself on the brown after potting the green and he was able to nick the frame.
1.1British Leave (someone) in a difficult position; thwart: I managed to lose my flat keys—that was me snookered
More example sentences
  • The Americans were snookered by their own arrogant assumption that they were dealing with an enemy who could only copy, badly, the wartime devices of the day.
  • California has snookered itself, thinking it's defeated politics as usual.
  • The Democrats were snookered because they couldn't say that they were against homosexual equality without alienating voters who were already in the bag.
1.2US Trick, entice, or trap: they were snookered into buying books at prices that were too high
More example sentences
  • Sure, show the kids that the parents don't mean what they say and can be snookered into taking back a punishment.
  • Apparently you are being snookered into making offers.
  • Ironically, even the author of the famed phrase ‘irrational exuberance’ was snookered into believing that the old laws of economics had somehow been repealed.


Late 19th century: of unknown origin.

  • Both the game and the word snooker originated among British army officers serving in India in the 1870s. Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain (not the future British prime minister) is said to have coined the name for a fast-moving version of billiards that he and his associates in the officers' mess had devised. Snooker was already army slang for ‘a newly joined cadet’, and the choice of name may have been intended to refer to the inept play of a fellow officer.

Words that rhyme with snooker

bazooka, euchre, farruca, lucre, palooka, pooka, rebuker, Stuka, verruca

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: snoo|ker

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