Definition of snorkel in English:


(also schnorkel)

nounPlural Snorkels, Plural snorkels

  • 1A tube for a swimmer to breathe through while under water.

    ‘bring a snorkel and flippers to explore the offshore reef’
    • ‘Similar effects are experienced by recreational breath-hold divers; they may also use a snorkel to allow breathing when on the surface.’
    • ‘But yesterday he donned his snorkel and flippers to defend his title as World Champion Bog Snorkeller.’
    • ‘The snorkel, flippers, and goggles are definitely material objects, as are the air tank, the regulator, and the buoyancy control device.’
    • ‘Once the swimmer has achieved ideal body position, the snorkel may be taken away to allow him to practice the low-profile breath.’
    • ‘We drop anchor at Calivigny Island, don flippers and snorkels, and paddle off to look at the coral.’
    • ‘We get our equipment on: flippers, masks, snorkels.’
    • ‘This allows them to dive totally unaided to depths of 75 ft - without snorkels, flippers or air cylinders.’
    • ‘Breathe into the blue, green or yellow plastic device, which resembles an asthma inhaler or part of a snorkel, for three or four minutes twice each day, and you'll breathe easier when you race.’
    • ‘Free masks, flippers and snorkels are usually on offer, but we were late in the day and the underwater guides had headed off to their beers.’
    • ‘Whether it be in drills or actual sets, whether pulling or kicking, we now use snorkels in all phases of our training.’
    • ‘And don't forget to bring your snorkel: diving aficionados swear that the Maldives have the finest dive sites in the world, and most resorts have fully equipped dive centres.’
    • ‘We stopped and parked up at a beach, and Mohammed guided us to the edge of the coral and instructed the novices amongst us how to don our masks, snorkels and flippers.’
    • ‘The game takes place in a swimming pool with players wearing snorkels, masks and fins.’
    • ‘He says he has two golden rules: first, always check out the dive site for yourself (he brings his own snorkel for the purpose) and second, keep in mind the spot on the water, way down below, that you are going to hit.’
    • ‘The odd snorkel bobs in the water, occasionally spurting water, and there's not a boat to be seen.’
    • ‘Now swap all skates, helmets and padding for flippers, snorkels and swimsuits.’
    • ‘Bring along your snorkels, beach balls and dinghies for a fantastic, fun time in the swimming pools.’
    • ‘Following a brief orientation, and a complimentary photograph, you are supplied with wet suits, snorkels and masks.’
    • ‘Wet suits, snorkels and fins are supplied when and if you are ready to get into the water - and when you return you can hop into a hot shower!’
    • ‘If you can breathe through a snorkel, then you are well on the way towards one of the most enriching wildlife experiences of your life.’
  • 2trademark A type of hydraulically elevated platform for firefighting.

    ‘50% of turntable ladders were replaced by Snorkels’
    • ‘Left are the FS6, the one which gave the stranded firefighters a lift, and a 1970 Snorkel with a boom and a cage for real emergencies.’

verbsnorkels, snorkeling, snorkelled, snorkelling, snorkeled

[no object]often as noun snorkelling
  • Swim using a snorkel.

    ‘the sea is incredibly clear, which is ideal for snorkelling’
    ‘snorkel around the unspoilt coral reefs’
    • ‘I've always enjoyed snorkelling and I fancied scuba diving, so I was keen to have a go.’
    • ‘We fished when we needed food, swam, snorkelled and dived off the edge of the Continental Shelf and relished in the crystal clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean - an ocean so blue it dazzled the eyesight.’
    • ‘On the islands, you can hike, snorkel, kayak, and go whale-watching; there are guided nature hikes on Santa Cruz Island.’
    • ‘Scuba diving and snorkelling among the exotic fish, dolphins, rays and sharks is hugely popular.’
    • ‘In fact, so many people snorkel at Hanauma Bay that it often gets quite crowded.’
    • ‘Its white sandy beach, lapped by crystal clear waters and hundreds of types of colourful fish make it ideal for swimming and snorkelling.’
    • ‘Learning to snorkel was rewarding, but it also taught me that I am no amphibian.’
    • ‘Lizard is about halfway between the Australian mainland and the outer reef, where you can spend the day diving or snorkelling.’
    • ‘Participants were snorkelling in the water with the dolphins.’
    • ‘My husband swam, snorkeled, and saw many beautiful fish while I lay under the palm trees enjoying our little piece of heaven - we never wanted to leave.’
    • ‘Strap on a mask and snorkel, and you can swim with sea lions, so curious and friendly that they will brush past your face.’
    • ‘Two ten-foot hammerheads swam by while we snorkeled quickly to the beach.’
    • ‘It's an outdoor lover's paradise, especially if you're into fishing, snorkelling and diving.’
    • ‘Here, the beaches are splendid and unspoilt, providing excellent sites for diving and snorkelling.’
    • ‘We saw plenty of crawfish while snorkelling and diving - or at least we saw their long whiskers poking out of holes and from under rocky ledges on the reef.’
    • ‘But their favourite activities were swimming, snorkelling and water volleyball.’
    • ‘While running keeps him fit, his passion is scuba diving and snorkelling and exploring the fascinating undersea world.’
    • ‘The Red Sea is a superb spot for diving and snorkelling.’
    • ‘Also pack a couple of old T-shirts to wear while snorkelling, or diving without a wetsuit, to protect your shoulders from the sun.’
    • ‘Towns are getting crowded, while many of the best places to dive or snorkel can be inundated with boats.’
    bathe, go swimming, take a dip, dip, splash around
    View synonyms


1940s: from German Schnorchel.