Definition of snooker in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A 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’
    • ‘The tournaments in billiards and snooker will soon be commencing so members should come in and get in some practice.’
    • ‘He has produced quality snooker during the past fortnight - and on a consistent basis.’
    • ‘He still drank, smoked, gambled and played snooker for money.’
    • ‘The balls are 61.5mm in diameter, much larger than in snooker or billiards.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Forthcoming events include table football, tennis and snooker tournaments with a big event being planned for the near future.’
    • ‘He may not play top-class snooker again, but the comeback from cancer is his biggest triumph of all.’
    • ‘We were told the building was sold for £90,000 and will open as a gym and snooker hall.’
    • ‘For the last three years of my school life I played snooker and turned professional at the age of 16.’
    • ‘Those who survive will play in York when the city hosts a major ranking snooker tournament for the first time.’
    • ‘If you play a couple of games of snooker and then go play ‘normal’ billiards, you'll play like a pro (for a little while).’
    • ‘He had previously played football with Sutton United and liked to watch snooker as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He played his best snooker for years in the Regal Welsh Open and this one is hard to call.’
    • ‘However, the hall will remain open on Thursday nights and Saturday nights during the summer for anyone who wants a game of pool, snooker or billiards.’
    • ‘Workmen have been busy this week refitting and modifying the Barbican Centre to accommodate the second most important tournament in world snooker.’
    • ‘None of them will be encouraged to abandon school early to spend their formative years in shadowy snooker halls.’
    • ‘To go out in my first match in snooker's second biggest tournament is very hard to accept.’
    • ‘Lovers of the game feel that billiards and snooker will die a slow death in India as long as the games remain unknown to the common man.’
    • ‘I used to drink with a neighbour and we often talked about playing snooker.’
    1. 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Wood gained four points from a snooker on the last red which left him ideally positioned for a clearance.’
      • ‘I return to the table a few shots later to learn I need six snookers.’


  • 1 Subject (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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, having potted his first (and only ball as it turned out to be) Richard snookered himself.’
    • ‘Despite accidentally sinking the white ball and then being craftily snookered by Mac, he played his way out of most problems including a spectacular bank-shot sinking his red stripe into a centre pocket.’
    • ‘On his first visit Tony cleared the rest of his spots but snookered himself on the black.’
    • ‘He led 53-8 with two reds left in the 16th frame but snookered himself on the second last red.’
    1. 1.1British Leave (someone) in a difficult position; thwart:
      ‘I managed to lose my flat keys—that was me snookered’
      • ‘They got that briefing yesterday and moved fast to avoid being snookered by the Government, proposing and today supporting legislation to ban the two organisations.’
      • ‘California has snookered itself, thinking it's defeated politics as usual.’
      • ‘I was pretty apprehensive prior to the ride, as I was aware that it was pretty early in the season and my attempts to get a solid training ride or two into my legs had been snookered by various mechanicals and the consequences thereof.’
      • ‘The Democrats were snookered because they couldn't say that they were against homosexual equality without alienating voters who were already in the bag.’
      • ‘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.’
      thwart, defeat, foil, block, stop, put a stop to, counter, spoil, check, baulk, circumvent, disappoint, forestall, bar, dash, scotch, quash, crush, derail, nip in the bud, baffle, nullify, snooker
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    2. 1.2US Trick, entice, or trap:
      ‘they were snookered into buying books at prices that were too high’
      • ‘Read his concurrence before suggesting he was snookered, sold-out, or whatever else you want to read into his vote.’
      • ‘Sure, show the kids that the parents don't mean what they say and can be snookered into taking back a punishment.’
      • ‘Once again, I'd been snookered by the Literacy Lady.’
      • ‘They just can't avoid being manipulated, tricked, conned, used, snookered, bamboozled, hoodwinked, rum amok and conned by men.’
      • ‘The US was snookered by these expatriates, all right.’
      • ‘Ironically, even the author of the famed phrase ‘irrational exuberance’ was snookered into believing that the old laws of economics had somehow been repealed.’
      • ‘Realizing he has been snookered, Esau goes on the warpath and hunts down Jacob.’
      • ‘Was the press snookered by all this official reassurance, and maybe is just now waking up to reality?’
      • ‘Normally, I'm sympathetic to investors who get snookered by the volatility and outright lies that drive so many small-cap stocks.’
      • ‘Apparently you are being snookered into making offers.’
      • ‘Billy had been snookered by them a couple of times.’
      • ‘Farmers are also realizing governments and industry have snookered them.’
      • ‘Here, in the coming days, the Americans are in danger of being seriously snookered.’
      • ‘Of course, you could try to snooker a bummed owner into trading one of them to you - that, we encourage.’
      • ‘It is a scenario where politicians couldn't even promise results as labour law snookered workers dogged by bad, bad luck after a life-time commitment to an industry that simply moved from Athy.’
      charm, attract, enchant, entrance, win over, woo, captivate, bewitch, spellbind, dazzle, blind, hypnotize, mesmerize, seduce, tempt, lead on, lure, entice, ensnare, entrap
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Late 19th century: of unknown origin.