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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Norse snagi (clothes peg).


snag (plural snags)

  1. A stump or base of a branch that has been lopped off; a short branch, or a sharp or rough branch; a knot; a protuberance.
    • Dryden
      The coat of arms / Now on a naked snag in triumph borne.
  2. Any sharp protuberant part of an object, which may catch, scratch, or tear other objects brought into contact with it.
  3. A tooth projecting beyond the rest; a broken or decayed tooth.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Prior to this entry?)
  4. A tree, or a branch of a tree, fixed in the bottom of a river or other navigable water, and rising nearly or quite to the surface, by which boats are sometimes pierced and sunk.
  5. (figuratively) A problem or difficulty with something.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XII:
      The snag in this business of falling in love, aged relative, is that the parties of the first part so often get mixed up with the wrong parties of the second part, robbed of their cooler judgment by the parties of the second part's glamour.
  6. A pulled thread or yarn, as in cloth.
  7. One of the secondary branches of an antler.
  • (problem or difficulty): hitch
Derived terms[edit]


snag (third-person singular simple present snags, present participle snagging, simple past and past participle snagged)

  1. To catch or tear (e.g. fabric) upon a rough surface or projection.
    Be careful not to snag your stockings on that concrete bench!
  2. (fishing) To fish by means of dragging a large hook or hooks on a line, intending to impale the body (rather than the mouth) of the target.
    We snagged for spoonbill from the eastern shore of the Mississippi river.
  3. (slang) To obtain or pick up (something).
    Ella snagged a bottle of water from the fridge before leaving for her jog.
  4. (UK, dialect) To cut the snags or branches from, as the stem of a tree; to hew roughly.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]


snag (plural snags)

  1. (UK, dialect, obsolete) A light meal.
  2. (Australia, informal, colloquial) A sausage. [From 1941.]
    • 2005, Peter Docker, Someone Else′s Country, 2010, ReadHowYouWant, page 116,
      I fire up the barbie and start cooking snags.
    • 2007, Jim Ford, Don't Worry, Be Happy: Beijing to Bombay with a Backpack, page 196,
      ‘You can get the chooks and snags from the fridge if you want,’ he replied.
      I smiled, remembering my bewilderment upon receiving exactly the same command at my very first barbecue back in Sydney a month after I′d first arrived.
    • 2010, Fiona Wallace, Sense and Celebrity, page 25,
      ‘Hungry? We′ve got plenty of roo,’ one of the men said as she walked up. He pointed with his spatula, ‘and pig snags, cow snags, beef and chicken.’
  • (sausage): banger (UK, Australia)

Etymology 3[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.


snag (plural snags)

  1. A misnaged, an opponent to Chassidic Judaism (more likely modern, for cultural reasons).


Scottish Gaelic[edit]


snag f (genitive snaige, plural snagan)

  1. sharp knock (sound)

Derived terms[edit]