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[snaf-uh l] /ˈsnæf əl/
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.
to put a snaffle on (a horse).
to control with or as with a snaffle.
Origin of snaffle1
1525-35; origin uncertain; compare Old Frisian snavel mouth, Dutch snavel, German Schnabel beak, bill


[snaf-uh l] /ˈsnæf əl/
verb (used with object), snaffled, snaffling. British Informal.
to appropriate for one's own use, especially by devious means; purloin; filch.
1715-25; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for snaffle
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for snaffle


Also called snaffle bit. a simple jointed bit for a horse
verb (transitive)
(Brit, informal) to steal or take for oneself
to equip or control with a snaffle
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin; compare Old Frisian snavel mouth, Old High German snabul beak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for snaffle

"simple bridle-bit," 1530s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from or related to Dutch snavel "beak, bill;" cf. German Schnabel "beak, face," Old English nebb, Old Norse neff "beak, nose" (see neb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for snaffle


n,n phr

A person who is attractive, pleasant, and full of finesse: thought of Dr Hugo Barker as a smooth article/ You think you're such a smoothie

[1933+ Students; smoothie is like slicker, but today lacks the connotations of dishonesty and trickiness]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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