One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding.
slapstick comedy, broad comedy, slapstick, burlesque, vaudeville, travesty, buffooneryView synonyms
- ‘Metal-penetrating oil can kill primers, and if it gets inside the powder charge, can again cause disastrous duds and even more disastrous squibs.’
- ‘He claims he was struck on the forehead by a squib during filming and is now suing the studio for extreme mental, physical and emotional pain and suffering that ‘caused him to employ physicians’.’
- ‘On emerging from a close that night Robert was hurt in the face by shot from a pistol belonging to a fellow student Arthur Tran, who with a group of other students was firing a pistol and letting off squibs.’
- ‘Speaking about the consequences of fireworks on dogs, operations director Jane Patmore said many guide dogs were forced into early retirement due to the misuse of rockets and squibs.’
- ‘In terms of action, though, the Club Hell sequence, at the beginning of the film, rates as one of her fondest memories, because ‘the pressure to get every move right and be in sync with all the squibs and the explosions was immense’.’
- ‘It was worth just 9 - squibs don't come much damper.’
- ‘Now for a quick fix in keeping with the company's rig-it-and-roll mentality: we look for ‘CueCat2’ to come stuffed with a tiny squib, detonated by opening the plastic housing.’
- ‘This is in addition to the blanks, squibs and small arms like grenades that were employed.’
- ‘The guy gets shot, he falls backwards, the squib explodes, tearing open his shirt clearly letting us see the blood package taped to his chest.’
- ‘A couple of squibs later and he was lying on the floor in a pool of fake blood.’
- ‘Regardless, Rice seeks payback, and before you can say ‘I'll never get these 95 minutes of my life back,’ guns blaze and squibs pop and general mayhem ensues.’
- ‘We spent a whole day with zombies and squibs going off.’
- ‘Of course this looks way cool on film, especially in slow motion with squibs full of stage blood bursting explosively, and has therefore become an established idiom of fictional ballistics.’
- ‘Cska were fined 1000 leva because their fans threw squibs.’
- ‘Spark must have left her fireworks out in the rain before setting off this box of squibs.’
- ‘The elderly residents of Ardmaine Nursing Home on the Fullerton Road suffer nightly harassment and are unable to sleep as youths throw squibs and bangers at the windows, according to a member of staff.’
- ‘These were the explosions that created Bikini's wrecks, but atomic bombs were squibs compared to what was to come.’
- ‘I have these little squibs that explode to make it look like bullets are hitting.’
- ‘Based on that pulsed information, the missile's guidance electronics fire a series of small squibs on the forward attitude control motor to push the missile into the correct azimuth to impact the target.’
- ‘During his last days Parsons was reduced to working for Hollywood movies, making tiny explosive squibs that mimicked a man being shot.’
2A short piece of satirical writing.
satire, burlesque, lampoon, pastiche, caricature, take-off, skit, imitation, impression, impersonation, mockery, mimicry, travestyView synonyms
- ‘Horace Walpole had written a squib against him, which Rousseau attributed to Hume.’
- ‘Songs of 19th century weavers are preserved alongside current anti-war parodies like the wonderful Glaswegian squib sung to the tune of the Italian resistance song, ‘Bella Ciao’.’
- ‘One of the delights of his squibs is the gleeful elision of NewLab multi-culti PC-speak with management gobbledegook and Pentagonese.’
- ‘But ‘To a Communist’ is more than just a satirical squib; its satire depends on MacNeice's literary-critical reading of Spender's text.’
- ‘Mowl is unusual for writing many books which are not offered as the last word on their subjects but as irreverent, amusing squibs, serving an intellectually stimulating role because they take nothing for granted.’
- ‘His acting is so total that he totals every ordinary part; only his own one-man squibs and diatribes, envenomed caricatures, and scurrilous jibes can contain his rant.’
- 2.1North American A short news item or filler in a newspaper.
- ‘A ready market thus opened up for political propaganda - in the form of pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, squibs, and caricatures - and the print trade rushed to meet it.’
- ‘There must be movies based on a single sentence - perhaps a squib of a newspaper story or a line of scripture or one famous quote.’
- ‘But that little squib on Lex's views is all by way of background.’
- ‘Compare his incomplete squibs to the reporting done by the Miami Herald's Glenn Garvin.’
- ‘It's just a short squib of a post, but tartly phrased.’
- ‘With the exception of a few newspaper wire squibs and profiles of hometown UNICEF volunteers, the story was completely ignored in the U.S. press.’
- ‘After that little squib in today's Wall Street Journal, I thought it was time to let you know about the new book.’
- ‘Today's editorial page had a little squib: ‘National Turn-off-the-Television week comes around every year.’’
- ‘Do you think a decent newspaper might want to fill out the record, to qualify Armstrong's views with a post-publication squib that she has a barrow to push - a paid barrow?’
- ‘Someone should snap her up just for the sharpness of her headlines, one-line squibs, and nifty asides.’
- ‘Me, I rather felt that Rich had missed the big important news story, which is offered as a squib at the end.’
- ‘I would surmise that the offending editor thought that the point of the squib was merely Churchill's strong castigation of the ‘tedious nonsense’ in ministerial minutes.’
- ‘While his squibs are sometimes cast with a conservative slant, his ‘developing’ scoops often send the mainstream media scrambling to catch up.’
- ‘But they all seem to cite back to this little squib in the Post.’
- ‘As a kind of farewell to 2003, I wrote a little squib for Warren Ellis this morning, as part of a series of ruminations on the future that he's putting together on Die Puny Humans.’
3informal A small, slight, or weak person, especially a child.
- ‘I can tell by your spiritual power that you are no squib.’
- ‘I was only a little squib - he definitely seemed to be older than his age.’
A short kick on a kick-off.
- ‘"I was told to kick a hard squib, shade left," Bryant said.’
- ‘No time to talk, he insists; got to splice together a two-minute tape on kick-offs - on-sides, squibs, deep kicks.’
- ‘With five seconds left in the game, Guerra kicked a short squib which Prospect quickly downed.’
with object Kick (the ball) a comparatively short distance on a kick-off; execute (a kick) in this way.‘we decided to squib the kick’
- ‘He squibbed the kick and had to make the tackle himself, prompting Spurrier to slam his clipboard, visor and headset to the ground.’
- ‘Wuerffel squibbed a kickoff in the fourth quarter because Conway suffered what he called a ‘total failure’ of his leg, and to add insult to the injury, Wuerffel was forced to make the tackle on the return.’
- ‘After taking the lead on Steve Christie's 41-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining, the Bills elected to pop up the kickoff instead of squibbing it.’
- ‘On kick-offs, they're squibbing the ball or kicking it short.’
- ‘We kick the ball down there, squib it, keep it inside and we'll probably take five seconds off of the clock and they'll have it at the twenty-five, thirty yard line, making them make about a forty-five yard play to get in field goal range.’
2archaic no object Utter, write, or publish a satirical or sarcastic attack.‘it is a sport now to taunt and squib and deride at other men's virtues’
- 2.1with object Lampoon.‘the mendicant parson, whom I am so fond of squibbing’
mock, ridicule, hold up to ridicule, deride, make fun of, poke fun at, parody, lampoon, burlesque, caricature, take off, travestyView synonyms
- ‘That is the sort of decision that real leaders of this nation have to take, and you have squibbed it.’
- ‘But he squibs the solutions suggested by the Balmain Secession Movement, even though these point the way to reconciling suburban loyalties with the structures of local government.’
- ‘In squibbing it as they saw it, she betrayed their trust.’
- ‘Your Honour, I do not want to squib the answer, but the answer is maybe, and I will need to spend a little more time later saying why it is maybe, rather than yes.’
- ‘I have been much squibbed for this, perhaps by disappointed applicants for professorships, to which they were deemed incompetent.’
- 2.1with object Lampoon.
Early 16th century (in squib (sense 1 of the noun)): of unknown origin; perhaps imitative of a small explosion. The verb was first recorded in squib (sense 2 of the verb) (late 16th century).
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