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From Dutch snippen (to snip; shred) or Low German snippen (to snip; shred), of imitative origin. [1]



snip (third-person singular simple present snips, present participle snipping, simple past and past participle snipped)

  1. To cut with short sharp actions, as with scissors.
    I don't want you to take much hair off; just snip my mullet off.
  2. To reduce the price of a product, to create a snip.
  3. To break off; to snatch away.
    • Daniel Defoe
      The captain seldom ordered anything out of the ship's stores [] but I snipped some of it for my own share.
  4. (informal) To circumcise.
    • 2001, David Cohen, The Father's Book: Being a Good Dad in the 21st Century, John WIley & Sons Ltd (2001), →ISBN, page 72:
      Circumcised fathers face a special problem. Do you want your son's willy to be that radically different from your own? So, parents should perhaps not be put off. Be good to your son's future lovers and have him snipped.
    • 2008, Ilene Schneider, Talk Dirty Yiddish: Beyond Drek: The Curses, Slang, and Street Lingo You Need to Know When You Speak Yiddish, Adams Media (2008), →ISBN, page 150:
      His children, however, were not snipped, possibly because Princess Diana was opposed to the practice, which is out of fashion in England.
    • 2012, Tom Hickman, God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis, Square Peg (2012), →ISBN, page 144:
      By the outbreak of the First World War such claims had diminished and the medical profession touted circumcision as being 'hygienic' — fathers were not only encouraged to have their newborn sons snipped, but to belatedly enjoy the benefits themselves.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:snip.
  5. (Internet) To remove the irrelevant parts of quotations in the reply message.



snip (plural snips)

  1. The act of snipping; cutting a small amount off of something.
  2. A single cut with scissors, clippers, or similar tool.
  3. Something acquired for a low price; a bargain.
    That wholesale lot on eBay was a snip at $10
  4. A small amount of something; a pinch.
  5. (definite, the snip, euphemistic) A vasectomy.
  6. A small or weak person, especially a young one.
    • 2010 — Ellen Renner, Castle of Shadows, Hachette UK, 2010 →ISBN.
      'Might as well come out now, you little snip, from wherever you be hiding!'
  7. (dated) An impertinent or mischievous person.
    • 1835, William Hamilton Maxwell, My Life (page 283)
      Nor was the lady's establishment more fortunate in gaining the regard of the household. The maid was a verjuiced spinster, too old to love herself, and too ill-natured to look on. The footman was a regular snip []
  8. (obsolete) A share or portion; a snack.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of L'Estrange to this entry?)
  9. (obsolete, slang) A tailor.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Kingsley to this entry?)


Derived terms[edit]