Definition of squib in English:

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Pronunciation: /skwɪb/


1A small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding.
Example sentences
  • I have these little squibs that explode to make it look like bullets are hitting.
  • The guy gets shot, he falls backwards, the squib explodes, tearing open his shirt clearly letting us see the blood package taped to his chest.
  • Speaking about the consequences of fireworks on dogs, operations director Jane Patmore said many guide dogs were forced into early retirement due to the misuse of rockets and squibs.
2A short piece of satirical writing.
Example sentences
  • But ‘To a Communist’ is more than just a satirical squib; its satire depends on MacNeice's literary-critical reading of Spender's text.
  • Horace Walpole had written a squib against him, which Rousseau attributed to Hume.
  • His acting is so total that he totals every ordinary part; only his own one-man squibs and diatribes, envenomed caricatures, and scurrilous jibes can contain his rant.
2.1North American A short news item or filler in a newspaper.
Example sentences
  • With the exception of a few newspaper wire squibs and profiles of hometown UNICEF volunteers, the story was completely ignored in the U.S. press.
  • There must be movies based on a single sentence - perhaps a squib of a newspaper story or a line of scripture or one famous quote.
  • A ready market thus opened up for political propaganda - in the form of pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, squibs, and caricatures - and the print trade rushed to meet it.
3 informal A small, slight, or weak person, especially a child.
Example sentences
  • I was only a little squib - he definitely seemed to be older than his age.
  • I can tell by your spiritual power that you are no squib.
4 American Football A short kick on a kick-off.
Example sentences
  • No time to talk, he insists; got to splice together a two-minute tape on kick-offs - on-sides, squibs, deep kicks.
  • "I was told to kick a hard squib, shade left," Bryant said.
  • With five seconds left in the game, Guerra kicked a short squib which Prospect quickly downed.

verb (squibs, squibbing, squibbed)

1 [with object] American Football Kick (the ball) a comparatively short distance on a kick-off; execute (a kick) in this way: we decided to squib the kick
More example sentences
  • On kick-offs, they're squibbing the ball or kicking it short.
  • Wuerffel squibbed a kickoff in the fourth quarter because Conway suffered what he called a ‘total failure’ of his leg, and to add insult to the injury, Wuerffel was forced to make the tackle on the return.
  • He squibbed the kick and had to make the tackle himself, prompting Spurrier to slam his clipboard, visor and headset to the ground.
2 [no object] archaic Utter, write, or publish a satirical or sarcastic attack: it is a sport now to taunt and squib and deride at other men’s virtues
2.1 [with object] Lampoon: the mendicant parson, whom I am so fond of squibbing
More example sentences
  • But he squibs the solutions suggested by the Balmain Secession Movement, even though these point the way to reconciling suburban loyalties with the structures of local government.
  • In squibbing it as they saw it, she betrayed their trust.
  • That is the sort of decision that real leaders of this nation have to take, and you have squibbed it.


Early 16th century (in sense 1 of the noun): of unknown origin; perhaps imitative of a small explosion. The verb was first recorded in sense 2 of the verb (late 16th century).

Words that rhyme with squib

bib, crib, dib, fib, glib, jib, lib, nib, rib, sib, snib

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: squib

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