Definition of snub in US English:


verbsnubs, snubbing, snubbed

[with object]
  • 1Rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully.

    ‘he snubbed faculty members and students alike’
    ‘he snubbed her request to wind up the debate’
    • ‘Though he talks about his various capacities, he snubs any attempts to talk about these in relation to his daughter.’
    • ‘But its request, submitted 18 months ago, was snubbed by the Royal Mail.’
    • ‘Seven months after its long-awaited completion, drivers are snubbing the Manchester and Salford inner relief route and preferring to wait in jams on busy through-route Deansgate.’
    • ‘That's not snubbing Scotland, but I just want to concentrate on playing in the Premiership.’
    • ‘The occupation authorities have urged them to surrender their arms voluntarily, but reportedly many have snubbed the request.’
    • ‘Residents spoke out in 2000 after years of being snubbed and claimed the area was being ignored by the country's leaders.’
    • ‘He cannot in any real sense be snubbed, ignored, or ridiculed.’
    • ‘For the next several weeks, Grandma refused to speak to Mother, openly snubbing her not only in public but in her own backyard as well.’
    • ‘The new Greens, he adds, belong to a younger generation and several have already proven their mettle by snubbing standing invitations to join the provincial Liberals.’
    • ‘Anger has spilled into claims of intimidation and media manipulation, with once-friendly neighbours snubbing each other in the street.’
    • ‘He insulted me, snubbed me… even broke the truce he offered!’
    • ‘It is an insult to the primary producers of this region to be snubbed by any Minister, let alone one who supposedly represents their industry.’
    • ‘It can't happen: something always goes wrong - and it's all the more likely if you have mortally offended one of your guests by snubbing his hairdressing skills.’
    • ‘The government denied the logging ban was an election stunt and said the state's conservationists had failed a test of their credibility by snubbing efforts to save the forest.’
    • ‘Conservatives challenge reformers, the government and opposition quarrel but agree on snubbing outsiders when the latter call for reform.’
    • ‘I am not suggesting that any information you provide to forces of that nature will be snubbed and ignored, but if you are not happy with the response what would your action be to pursue it?’
    • ‘The changes come as young people in Manchester are snubbing a national trend, which has seen the number of worshippers in the UK drop by 100,000 in the two years 2000-2002.’
    • ‘The first time they won parliament seats, they snubbed traditional politics and rotated different members of the party through those seats.’
    • ‘The Government has consistently snubbed his requests for an official inquiry into the affair.’
    • ‘There was some sort of confusion, but he said that they were not snubbing the committee and in fact they planned to reach out to the intelligence committee and all of the various committees.’
    insult, slight, affront, humiliate, treat disrespectfully
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  • 2Check the movement of (a horse or boat), especially by a rope wound around a post.

    ‘a horse snubbed to a tree’
    • ‘He believes that by scaring a horse, such as sacking them out incorrectly, snubbing, or tying a scary object to the saddle to where the horse has no means of escape will lead to a nervous or spooky horse.’
    • ‘To climb on-board, technicians snub the rambunctious radar flyer with strategically laced ropes.’
    • ‘Nichols caught one of them and snubbed it around two tree stumps.’

nounPlural snubs

  • An act of showing disdain or a lack of cordiality by rebuffing or ignoring someone or something.

    ‘he couldn't help thinking that the whole thing was meant to be taken as a snub’
    • ‘The verdict was a sharp snub to the Government, and particularly to the Prime Minister, whose last ditch bid to win union backing for his tough five per cent pay rule was thrown back in his teeth.’
    • ‘This is a snub to the businesses who are spending thousands on improvements to encourage more trade.’
    • ‘Such a result is a snub to traditional Labour policy - at least that's what you might think.’
    • ‘The move would be a clear snub to the ‘stability and growth pact’ under which countries in the eurozone are expected not to exceed the 3% ceiling on domestic deficits.’
    • ‘It was the swankiest house in the village and a snub to their disapproving relatives.’
    • ‘A flagship Glasgow store would be a snub to Edinburgh which had harboured dreams of attracting the company.’
    • ‘It is time both parents and ambitious students thought of giving a snub to all those avaricious private medical and engineering colleges.’
    • ‘Newcastle beach has suffered a humiliating snub from a leading teacher's union.’
    • ‘Royal sources suggested the choice was a discreet snub to the BBC, which has been criticised for the alleged lack of respect shown in its coverage.’
    • ‘Who would have thought that the state that, more than any other in the EU, has converted years of funding support into double-digit annual growth would deliver such a snub to the EU enlargement agenda?’
    • ‘The Sex Pistols have delivered a massive snub to the United States' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after being selected to join the club.’
    • ‘Today officials behind the scheme insisted the move was not a snub to Bradford and said it was keen to get more electronics firms from the city on board and was retaining its ties with Bradford College.’
    • ‘But some veterans who fought in the Far East believe it is a snub to them and say they will boycott the official event.’
    • ‘It looked as if the power of Rome itself had been weakened, but Rome struck back with the Counter Reformation, an open snub to the serious, even grim, world of the Protestant reformers.’
    • ‘I think its a snub to their belief system and they feel disloyal if they don't step up and say something about it.’
    • ‘But the cancellation is patently a deliberate snub.’
    • ‘Dutch government leaders yesterday issued desperate pleas for the public to back the European constitution as the Netherlands, in the shadow of the French vote, prepared to deliver a large snub to the EU.’
    • ‘But to have passed over Pakistan would have been a humiliating snub to a strategically important regional power that Washington needs to engage.’
    • ‘What was done was a direct snub to us, and it will definitely have a negative impact on future city exchanges and cross-strait relations.’
    • ‘For some unfathomable reason, her eyes filled with tears at the perceived snub and she quickly blinked them away.’
    rebuff, insult, repulse, slight, affront, slap in the face, humiliation
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  • (of a person's or animal's nose) short and turned up at the end.

    in combination ‘snub-nosed’
    • ‘She's either not made up or has applied very subtle cosmetics to her high forehead and cute snub nose.’
    • ‘Her little sister had their father's snub nose, and his slightly wavier hair.’
    • ‘The Himalayan's broad head, tiny ears, full cheeks, large, round eyes and short, snub nose conspire to produce a sweet but extreme expression that few people can resist.’
    • ‘The poor girl must have been only thirteen, with short brown hair, a snub nose and the pointed ears of an elf.’
    • ‘One member species, Rhinopithecus roxellana, is widely known as golden monkey or snub-nosed monkey for its shining golden coat and funny snub nose.’
    • ‘Her hair had a pageboy cut, and her snub nose was sprinkled with a small amount of freckles that gave Manda an impression that the woman could also be girlish in nature despite her age.’
    • ‘This one was shorter, with curly black hair and an Irish snub nose.’
    • ‘The plate in the field guide shows a strange, golden-brown animal with a prehensile tail, hook-like claws and a funny snub nose.’
    • ‘She has a snub nose and hair that once was golden.’
    • ‘She didn't approach the door but paced the hall, her snub nose wrinkled at the sour smell of urine and smoke.’
    • ‘He had close-set gray eyes, a snub nose, and a smiling mouth, framed by short blond hair.’


Middle English (as a verb, originally in the sense ‘rebuke with sharp words’): from Old Norse snubba ‘chide, check the growth of’. The adjective dates from the early 18th century.