snaffle

1 [snaf-uhl]
noun
1.
Also called snaffle bit. a bit, usually jointed in the middle and without a curb, with a large ring at each end to which a rein and cheek strap are attached.
verb (used with object), snaffled, snaffling.
2.
to put a snaffle on (a horse).
3.
to control with or as with a snaffle.

Origin:
1525–35; origin uncertain; compare Old Frisian snavel mouth, Dutch snavel, German Schnabel beak, bill

Dictionary.com Unabridged

snaffle

2 [snaf-uhl]
verb (used with object), snaffled, snaffling. British Informal.
to appropriate for one's own use, especially by devious means; purloin; filch.

Origin:
1715–25; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
snaffle (ˈsnæfəl)
 
n
1.  Also called: snaffle bit a simple jointed bit for a horse
 
vb
2.  informal (Brit) to steal or take for oneself
3.  to equip or control with a snaffle
 
[C16: of uncertain origin; compare Old Frisian snavel mouth, Old High German snabul beak]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

snaffle
"simple bridle-bit," 1533, perhaps from Du. snavel "beak, bill;" cf. Ger. Schnabel "beak, face," O.E. nebb, O.N. neff "beak, nose," from PIE base *snab- "beak" (see neb).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars, as a maiden plays with a glove.
Now put a snaffle bit on your horse and repeat these lunging exercises.
Already they had put the snaffle in the mouth of the landlords.
Synonyms
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