Definition of snow in English:



  • 1Atmospheric water vapour frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes or lying on the ground as a white layer.

    ‘we were trudging through deep snow’
    • ‘This is because the snow is blown around in the wind, and it is hard to know the difference between falling and drifting snow.’
    • ‘Halfway to the Northern palace, two days into the journey, night fell as fresh snow floated to the ground.’
    • ‘The tragic ending is atmospheric, with snow falling on a procession of women carrying red lanterns.’
    • ‘For it to be deemed a white Christmas, at least one flake of snow has to fall on the roof of the London weather centre.’
    • ‘As wet, fluffy snow fell throughout the day, many protestors began tossing snowballs at riot police.’
    • ‘There was a heavy, wet snow falling gently on the harbour.’
    • ‘He found her sitting alone next to a window, watching snow falling onto the ground.’
    • ‘I expected to see snow on the mountains, it was that cold.’
    • ‘Having inserted it perpendicularly into the lying snow, it still did not touch the ground.’
    • ‘A thin layer of white snow now lay upon the ground and still more was falling heavily.’
    • ‘In dry-winter areas that don't freeze or have much snow, water perennials once a month on a sunny, warm day to keep them alive and healthy.’
    • ‘Shoveling snow was beginning to wear on me.’
    • ‘A thin layer of snow had covered the ground and I was freezing.’
    • ‘To the south there are high mountains, covered in thick spring snow.’
    • ‘When the vapor condenses into rain or freezes to make snow, the precipitation is acid, which can fall into lakes.’
    • ‘Outside, snow fell: fat flakes adhering to the windows and frosting the glass in translucent white.’
    • ‘Precipitation falling as snow complicates the water balance as defined in this way, but the principles are the same.’
    • ‘He stood up too and they walked out, their boots crunching though the thin layer of slush and snow covering the ground.’
    • ‘She landed gently, the winds swirling around her, picking up the small flakes of snow from the ground.’
    • ‘The film is astonishingly beautiful in its pristine silver light, with snow on the ground and a weak sun low over the city.’
    snowflakes, flakes, snowdrift, snowfield, snowpack
    snowfall, snowstorm, blizzard
    sleet, hail, soft hail
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Falls of snow.
      ‘the first snows of winter’
      • ‘The crazy weather conditions are set continue, as forecasters predict that the winter will be the coldest since the devastating snows of 1963.’
      • ‘‘I was still pretending that she would get through the Sierra before the snows fell,’ Didion writes.’
      • ‘The snows came particularly early last year, at the beginning of September, and lasted well into April.’
      • ‘Not every sack of grain needs to be distributed to stockpiles before the snows come next month.’
      • ‘Their body warmth heated the upper floor where their humans lived and, if the snows of winter and the snow-drifts off the roofs piled up very high, the farmers could still shovel their way down to their snow-bound herds.’
      • ‘He would ask after them from a mutual friend, sure, but would he drive across state lines to deliver their wife's baby when the snows had brought down telegraph lines?’
      • ‘Still, we stood in a large shadow of regret as we called the power company and asked; they were glad to comply, and with alacrity, before the snows.’
      • ‘The snows of 1947 had virtually wiped the rabbit population out, but they were back with a vengeance.’
      • ‘I do love the first snow of the season, especially when it happens overnight.’
      • ‘As seasons pass from cherry blossoms and summer beaches to fall foliage and winter snows, their love becomes stronger and more enduring.’
      • ‘The freezing over of rivers and seas along with snows and ice would interfere with transportation more than higher temperatures would.’
      • ‘Planted with care and planning, bulbs can keep a garden alive with color from the last snows of winter through the first frosts of fall.’
      • ‘Fall rains and winter snows will provide moisture to germinate seeds.’
      • ‘We had the first snows of the season last night and Mount Wellington opposite is looking pretty dramatic and beautiful.’
      • ‘They are white and weathered, the horns cracked and bleached by the snows and frosts, and the rains and heats of many winters and summers.’
      • ‘If they're fully rooted in fall before winter season snows or rains, come spring, they're fully established and ready to grow.’
      • ‘However, on Wednesday the snows arrived and with six to ten inches falling, it brought everything to a virtual standstill.’
      • ‘Relief agencies were scrambling to find warm tents from wherever they could before snows begin to fall, the spokesperson said.’
      • ‘The retreat began on 19 October, and within three weeks the first snows had fallen.’
      • ‘But come late fall, the heavy snows force the crew to leave the Highlands for the relatively hospitable climate of southern Cape Breton.’
  • 2Something resembling snow, in particular.

    1. 2.1A mass of flickering white spots on a television or radar screen, caused by interference or a poor signal.
      ‘all that they could pick up on their screens was snow’
      • ‘The television shows some snow all over the screen, until a blue screen shows ‘play’ on it.’
      • ‘The image was only partially there and most of it was static and white snow from the interference but what he wanted Boswell to see was indeed on the tape.’
      • ‘Because it certainly looked like it on my television, and we have a digital signal, so it couldn't have been snow or interference.’
      • ‘The television filled with digital snow, casting a pale glow about the darkened room.’
    2. 2.2informal Cocaine.
    3. 2.3A dessert or other dish resembling snow.
      ‘vanilla snow’
      • ‘At first the technique was used to make a simple, uncooked dish called snow, made from egg white and cream.’
    4. 2.4[with modifier]A frozen gas resembling snow.
      ‘carbon dioxide snow’
      • ‘The first cryogens were liquid air and compressed carbon dioxide snow.’


  • 1[no object] Snow falls.

    ‘it's not snowing so heavily now’
    • ‘That evening it continued snowing heavily as the night grew colder.’
    • ‘Nate almost didn't see the jeep that was ahead of him, because it had started snowing pretty heavily.’
    • ‘This morning… can you believe it… it is snowing!’
    • ‘I looked outside, and saw that it had started to snow really hard.’
    • ‘It was snowing heavily, which is normal for New Zealand in August.’
    • ‘I've just spoken to Sasha, twenty miles away in London, where it is snowing.’
    • ‘He peeks out of the tent to discover that it is snowing.’
    • ‘When it snowed hard, we were cut off from our suppliers.’
    • ‘This may mean having to check periodically if it is snowing.’
    • ‘It snowed heavily for five hours, and then stopped.’
    • ‘It was snowing heavily and within minutes the lawn was covered in a sheet of pristine white.’
    • ‘The weather wasn't really improving it was starting to snow pretty heavily and I feared that the traffic would be a disaster.’
    • ‘I feel so cozy inside when it is snowing - something I miss from living in Edmonton.’
    • ‘At the end of the road we stop and it is snowing fairly heavily.’
    • ‘You live in Canada, it snows here in the winter, get over it.’
    • ‘And it hasn't snowed up here since I've been up here.’
    • ‘It was snowing, not heavily but lightly and he decided not to cancel the match.’
    • ‘Christy peaked out the window and saw that it had snowed overnight.’
    • ‘We were also out for Christmas break and it has snowed overnight.’
    • ‘They are saying it will snow again tonight.’
    1. 1.1Be confined or blocked by a large quantity of snow.
      ‘I was snowed in for a week’
      • ‘Remember the last time we were snowed in together?’
      • ‘I look in the rear view mirror and it's like we've been snowed in.’
      • ‘We were snowed in so I couldn't go outside at all.’
      • ‘Soon after we moved into our present house in a village near Bath, some 20 years ago, we were snowed in for a week.’
      • ‘We were snowed in, the snow had stopped just before the top of the windows.’
      • ‘We joke about the long winter nights and the risks of being snowed in.’
      • ‘Also in 1945 we went into the Welsh Mountains to help feed people who were snowed in.’
      • ‘We were all promised blizzards and arctic blasts today, and I dare say everyone was looking forward to being snowed in and enjoying a day off work snuggled up in front of the telly.’
      • ‘When they wanted to look at the animals up around the Port Hills, in winter the area was snowed up and they could get there in a four wheel drive, but in spring and in autumn it was so wet that they could not get up there.’
      • ‘We were having a wonderful time being snowed in at the Mayflower with our friends.’
      • ‘He was at Bacup during the severe winter of 1947, when trains were snowed up in the Whitworth area.’
      • ‘So instead of being snowed in at the airport, I was fogged in.’
      • ‘They have a windproof shelter, and if they get bored with being snowed in, they can eat the walls.’
      • ‘We were snowed in again over the weekend, to our great indignation.’
      • ‘Twenty years ago, on a ski holiday in Norway, Jeremy was snowed in for a couple of days and came up with the idea of using mountain rescue as the basis for a novel.’
      • ‘So the trapper gathered the furs and snow-packed barrels of meats upon a sled, and pushed it through the passes before they were snowed in by the winter.’
      • ‘She finally settled in New Mexico, building an adobe house with her own hands on a remote mesa where in winter she was snowed in for weeks at a time…’
      • ‘On one occasion we were snowed in and the four boys all had chicken pox so we moved out to a rented cottage in Roxburgh until the snow thawed.’
      • ‘Last year we were snowed in and it took two days to clear the snow away.’
      • ‘It had been planned that White would join them last Wednesday morning but he could not arrive at Headingley until later in the day after being snowed in at his Scarborough home.’
  • 2North American informal [with object] Mislead or charm (someone) with elaborate and insincere words.

    ‘they would snow the public into believing that all was well’
    • ‘I'm afraid that those who might be snowed by the report's valiant attempt to pass off hope for potential are few.’
    • ‘The organization has a proud history of running its own show and snowing successive governments to further its own quite remarkable self interest.’
    • ‘He quickly came up with a 10 point plan to ensure that CEOs could never snow their investors like that again.’
    • ‘It really is scary how many people have been snowed by the current administrations' policies.’
    • ‘He used you people, played on your sympathy and thoroughly snowed you.’
    • ‘She knew she ought to be furious; he hadn't exactly snowed her, but he'd taken advantage of a faith she didn't put in many people, of the memories of her childhood.’
    • ‘Then he snows her with rapid-fire comments and returns to the ‘you're forgiven’ angle.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • be snowed under

    • Be overwhelmed with a very large quantity of something, especially work.

      ‘he's been snowed under with urgent cases’
      • ‘Over the last few months, the two committees have been snowed under with work.’
      • ‘Naturally this column has no understanding of how this happened, but it would be nice to think that we will not be snowed under by complaints about a) its alumni events or b) problems with the alumni website in the future.’
      • ‘I genuinely hope that I don't get time to read these books, due to the fact that I'll be snowed under doing miscellaneous ‘other things’ that I can't really talk about at the moment.’
      • ‘For the past three months, ambulance crews like 735 have been snowed under with calls.’
      • ‘But I just started 6th form college and I've been snowed under with work.’
      • ‘If he has been snowed under lately, blame the Highland weather.’
      • ‘One respondent told the researchers, ‘Everyone seems to be snowed under now.’’
      • ‘I've been snowed under with bursary and applying for med school.’
      • ‘I have been snowed under by a request to know what colour this farm is; red, yellow or green.’
      • ‘The city's cat shelter is snowed under with new arrivals, as summer is their busiest period, being similar to the post-Christmas boom in unwanted dogs.’
      • ‘Last time we were snowed under with similar letters my colleague sent the following reply.’
      • ‘There wasn't a holiday in the UK, so people were still sending me e-mail, but I took an hour or two at lunch time and cleared them, so that I wouldn't be snowed under when I got in today.’
      • ‘I expected to be snowed under with applications but we have only received 67 and time is running out.’
      • ‘And such has been the demand that the ticket office has still been snowed under by requests, with officials at the club not expecting to know the final figures until later this week.’
      • ‘The report, for the year 1999, shows the 11 member board is snowed under by a growing backlog of complaints despite a fall in the number of fresh complaints for that year.’
      • ‘Experience shows that many directors face one of two challenges: either having far too little information to gain a proper perspective on a company's financial health, or being snowed under by too much information.’
      • ‘Well, and it's not just patients and their families that are being snowed under by the paperwork in the bureaucracy.’
      • ‘He says he has now paid the client her £400, while the delays in replying to the letters happened when he was snowed under with work.’
      • ‘He claims to be snowed under with correspondence.’
      • ‘I was snowed under in college with exams, just as I am with projects now.’
      inundate, overwhelm, overload, overrun, flood, swamp, deluge, engulf
      shower, bombard
      View synonyms


Old English snāw, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch sneeuw and German Schnee, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin nix, niv- and Greek nipha.