Definition of snout in English:



  • 1The projecting nose and mouth of an animal, especially a mammal:

    ‘a sea lion balanced a ball on its snout’
    • ‘Elephant shrews have elongated snouts and large eyes and ears.’
    • ‘There were rodents, bats, elephants and lemurs with pointed snouts and long tails.’
    • ‘Crocodiles are lighter in color, with longer, narrower snouts.’
    • ‘Once the snout contacted an ant larva or pupa, the snake would slide the ventral surface of its snout over the top of the prey until the prey item was positioned at or near the front of the mouth.’
    • ‘Unlike the common shrew, it has a fat, bulbous head and a short, narrow snout.’
    • ‘From the tip of the snout to the end of its tail, it was no longer than a foot.’
    • ‘Their nostrils are located on top of their snouts and closed by valves.’
    • ‘They have a pointed snout, and the mouth contains teeth.’
    • ‘The fish shows other features characteristic of land animals, including ribs, a neck, and nostrils on its snout for breathing air.’
    • ‘The door creaked open and a furred snout poked out.’
    • ‘Tiny, fragile claws poked through the hole, followed by a slender snout, nostrils flaring.’
    • ‘Beneath the projecting snout there is a small, toothless mouth with thick, sucking lips.’
    • ‘He covered the animal's snout with his mouth and puffed two breaths into her.’
    • ‘Gino held the mask over the dog's snout and waited.’
    • ‘All tapirs have a short, fleshy proboscis formed by the snout and upper lips.’
    • ‘She turned and saw the bay nudging his snout through the bars, eager for her strokes.’
    • ‘They have long snouts, small eyes, large, clawed feet and long nearly naked tails.’
    • ‘The head is elongated and ends in a long, narrow snout, with nostrils that can be closed.’
    • ‘They have pointy snouts, bulbous noses and grizzled manes.’
    • ‘I used to say that all animals with snouts are cute, but I've had to adjust that view in light of seeing the Tasmanian Devil in person.’
    muzzle, face
    nose, proboscis, trunk
    mouth, jaws, maw
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    1. 1.1informal A person's nose:
      ‘a guard with a pair of vicious piggy eyes above a snarling snout’
      • ‘After trailing the champions throughout, it seemed that all Cork needed was to get their snouts in front, but after drawing up alongside their opponents as the game swung in to the final five minutes Cork couldn't eke out a lead.’
      • ‘And the kitchen door opened and May stuck her snout into the room again.’
      • ‘But we should not be sticking our snout in there.’
    2. 1.2 The projecting front or end of something such as a pistol:
      ‘he was stopped by the snout of her pistol’
      • ‘The crew works until 9 p.m. and all day Saturday repairing the front snout, rear clip and right flame rails.’
      • ‘This area can also be taken up by the bus's snout, leaving the cyclist little option but form a ‘snake’ alongside.’
      • ‘Kathleen stared at the pistol, which he held, that had a cloud of smoke whispering from its snout, then she averted her eyes to the fallen officer.’
  • 2British informal A cigarette.

    1. 2.1[mass noun] Tobacco.
  • 3British informal A police informer:

    ‘his arrest had been the work of some anonymous snout’
    • ‘Most believe that, as a police snout, he set them up for lengthy jail sentences.’
    • ‘Apparently, a third of calls to the cheatline relate to household insurance, with snouts telling tales about burglaries that never happened or fires started by ‘accident’.’
    • ‘The opprobrium that once attached to informers, snitches, snouts, shoppers and narks in all walks of life no longer exists.’
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  • 4A European moth with long palps that extend in front of the head like a snout.

    • ‘Pyralid, snout or grass moths (Pyralidae) make up a very large family of more than 25,000 species.’


Middle English: from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German snūt; related to snot.