Definition of snipe in English:

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Pronunciation: /snīp/

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. See also painted snipe, seed-snipe.
  • Gallinago and other genera, family Scolopacidae: several species, e.g., the common snipe (G. gallinago).
Example sentences
  • 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.


[no object]
1Shoot at someone from a hiding place, especially accurately and at long range: the soldiers in the trench sniped at us
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • Insiders admit that sniping does work in winning auctions.
  • My last gripe about eBay: sniping.
  • As eBay veterans know, due to the phenomenon known as "sniping," the only bidding that matters in an online auction happens during the final moments.
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
More example sentences
  • I wasn't sniped: I just didn't bid high enough.
  • I promise not to stay up till 3.25 am to snipe a US bidder off a pair of yellow leather mod boots which are rightfully mine.
  • I was all set to buy my first Banksy and then I got sniped.


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

Words that rhyme with snipe

gripe, hype, mistype, pipe, ripe, sipe, skype, slype, stripe, swipe, tripe, type, wipe

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: snipe

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