Definition of snip in English:

snip

verbsnipping, snips, snipped

[with object]
  • Cut (something) with scissors or shears, typically with small quick strokes.

    ‘she was snipping a few dead heads off the roses’
    no object ‘she inspected the embroidery, snipping at loose threads’
    • ‘She pulled the scissors from her dress pocket and snipped her hair off.’
    • ‘The dress is really rough but I have been chopping and snipping it all day.’
    • ‘The buds are dried for 10 days before being snipped off the stalks and bagged.’
    • ‘Furiously, she grabbed a large pair of scissors and started snipping away.’
    • ‘Holding back laughter, I watched as Hannah measured out sections of hair with a comb and snipped the ends off.’
    • ‘In fact, snipping dill is the best way to mince it - it bruises the delicate leaves less than chopping.’
    • ‘We play for a while, and end up outside, where Sara is snipping lilacs from the bushes.’
    • ‘When he discovered that some species migrate hundreds of miles a year, he began snipping minute samples of wing tissue from bats he caught in mist nets.’
    • ‘A burglar will never be able to disarm the system by snipping the wires.’
    • ‘I snipped the chives into little pieces and blended them together with the thickened yoghurt.’
    • ‘Picking up a pair of discarded pliers he snipped two wires and replaced some of the others.’
    • ‘Once she snipped part of the wristband that was sticking up, Michelle pushed me out of the way and presented her left hand to the woman.’
    • ‘The Queen is due in York to snip the ribbon on the bridge later this summer.’
    • ‘Beth nodded, and unceremoniously snipped the loose ends with a pair of kitchen shears.’
    • ‘Very carefully, she took his jacket off and started to snip away his shirt.’
    • ‘The procedure involves snipping a bit of skin from the patient to get the DNA.’
    • ‘Taking a deep breath, she carefully snipped the first stitch apart.’
    • ‘Then he basically snipped and snipped huge locks of hair at a time until he was done.’
    • ‘Two corners are snipped off, one is rounded, and the fourth is squared.’
    • ‘Another woman approached with a pair of scissors and snipped the thread that bound them.’
    cut, clip, cut into, slit, nick, gash, notch, incise, snick
    cut off, snip off, trim, trim off, clip, prune, hack off, chop off, saw off, lop, lop off, dock, crop, sever, separate, detach, remove, take off
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nounPlural snips

  • 1An act of snipping something.

    ‘he took a snip at a dandelion on the grass’
    • ‘The tips should be sharp enough to trim closely with a single snip.’
    • ‘‘Well, you look presentable,’ she proclaimed with a few final snips at my beard.’
    • ‘I cut my hair on a whim, losing my second-best feature in a few snips.’
    • ‘After the initial incisions are made, robotic arms wielding a tiny camera and surgical tools make the snips, stanch the blood flow, and sew up inside when all is done.’
    • ‘Of course, if nature has not been kind, a wig, dyeing or maybe even a snip here or there could help you to look more like your favourite character.’
    • ‘A few snips of the old tailor's scissors and I will reduce them to a series of hanging strips barely connected to the elastic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I heard the snips get closer and farther away from my ears.’
    • ‘To soothe his worries, I thought I'd let him do a couple of snips.’
    • ‘By now half her hair is cut, and his voice was rising with anger as the snips got more violent.’
    • ‘She worked slowly and carefully at first, then picked up speed, using her claws to rake the hair into position, then trimming it with rapid snips of the scissors.’
    • ‘I hate you, she whispered, with every snip of her scissors.’
    • ‘After a few snips here and there, Tara looked into the mirror, and her face lit up.’
    • ‘After a few snips and clips, the self-described idiot sported a new look.’
    • ‘‘It's straight,’ she told her minutes later after a few more snips and some more combing.’
    • ‘With one quick snip of the scissors the collar was off.’
    cut, clip, trim
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    1. 1.1 A small piece of something that has been snipped off.
      ‘the collage consists of snips of wallpaper’
      • ‘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
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    2. 1.2the snipBritish informal A vasectomy.
      ‘about 6,000 men get the snip every year, and numbers are increasing’
      • ‘What about men who have the snip?’
      • ‘The doctor said: "Things happened and he blamed them on the fact that he had got the snip."’
      • ‘A friend added: "Mick had planned to have the snip because he couldn't face having any more kids in the house."’
      • ‘Now I'll have to fend off those nasty questions about getting the snip!’
      • ‘Going for "the snip" is a surprisingly painless and simple procedure.’
      • ‘There is even circumcision humour and a funny song about the snip.’
      • ‘Then she told me it was time to get the snip.’
      • ‘Scots are turning their backs on the snip.’
      • ‘Naturally, Gina starts thinking, like many of her Western friends, that it may be time to consider some surgical intervention - yes, "the snip" - preferably performed on her husband.’
      • ‘For the first time on record, more men are getting the snip than women, although their numbers are also declining, down from 6,543 to 4,655 - a slump of 29%.’
      • ‘He's having the snip!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But remarriages now account for nearly 40% of weddings, and the decision to have the 'snip' can come to be bitterly regretted.’
      • ‘What are people's thoughts about getting the snip to prevent pregnancy either for men or women?’
  • 2A surprisingly cheap item; a bargain.

    ‘the wine is a snip at £3.65’
    • ‘‘Compared with prices down south, it's a real snip,’ he says.’
    • ‘And though it may cost him £20 a time on the train, he firmly believes it would be a snip at twice the price.’
    • ‘See for yourselves and get a 30 per cent discount on this title into the bargain - a snip at just £13.29.’
    • ‘Even Philips' double-layer device is a snip at just $115.’
    • ‘The diversity of genre, the incredible artwork across the board, and the generally impressive writing make it a snip at fifteen dollars.’
    • ‘Where they triumph is in their cheerfully cheap black nylon and leather combination - something of a snip at £15.’
    • ‘He has had an excellent season and is looking like a snip at however many million they paid for him.’
    • ‘Sevilla, of course, will have been aware of what the future might hold for their star's market value but were somehow persuaded to sell now at a price that, within months, may well look like a snip.’
    • ‘You couldn't fail to lose weight being given cold scrambled egg to reheat - a snip at $35 a day.’
    • ‘The thought of wearing another person's hair may make you shudder but at nearly £1,000 this unique headpiece crafted from woven human hair could prove a snip.’
    • ‘I paid my final visit to the store just before it closed, and bought the last two pairs of XL boxer shorts, and the remaining XL shirt, which was a snip at £2.25.’
    • ‘Some people balked at the amount of money paid out at the time, but £11 million now looks like a snip.’
    • ‘At 15.99, it's a snip for the Christmas stocking.’
    bargain, good buy, cheap buy
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    1. 2.1dated A thing that is easily achieved.
      easy task, easy job, child's play, five-finger exercise, gift, walkover, nothing, sinecure, gravy train
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  • 3snipsShears for cutting metal.

    ‘tin snips’
    • ‘Heavy-duty wire snips cut them to size; we needed smaller lengths as we moved away from the posts and behind the fire pit.’
    • ‘If you can't pry out the nails without further damaging the wall, use the snips to cut the bead from around the nailheads.’
    • ‘For most cutting tasks, the only tool you'll need is a pair of aviation snips.’
    • ‘Cut a new piece of corner bead using aviation snips.’
    • ‘The material is held down with standard roofing nails, and can be cut with snips or a utility knife.’
    • ‘I also made an abortive attempt at creativity with tin snips and a tin can.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A pair of tin snips would fix it real quick.’
  • 4North American informal A small or insignificant person.

    ‘imagine that little snip telling me I was wrong!’
    insignificant person, nobody, nonentity, non-person, gnat, insect, cipher, pygmy
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

snip

/snɪp/