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[snap-shot] /ˈsnæpˌʃɒt/
an informal photograph, especially one taken quickly by a hand-held camera.
Hunting. a quick shot taken without deliberate aim.
Informal. a brief appraisal, summary, or profile.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), snapshot or snapshotted, snapshotting.
to photograph informally and quickly.
Origin of snapshot
1800-10 for def 2; 1860-65 for def 1; snap + shot1


[snap-shoot] /ˈsnæpˌʃut/
verb (used with object), snapshot, snapshooting.
to take a snapshot of (a subject).
back formation from snapshot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for snap shot
Historical Examples
  • It was a snap shot, but the bullet struck him in the chest within three inches of the first, and found its way into his lungs.

    Maiwa's Revenge H. Rider Haggard
  • Balancing most unsteadily, I swung up my rifle for a snap shot.

    Adventures in Alaska Samuel Hall Young
  • It was but a snap–shot, but the bullet went through one of the Russians wrists, and caused his thrust to swerve.

    With the Allies to Pekin George Alfred Henty
  • It is possible, with practice, to get this “snap shot” into the “bull” or touching it.

  • "It's a pity that it's too dark for me to take a snap shot of you with that duck," she said.

    The Little Colonel in Arizona Annie Fellows Johnston
  • A voice might give the other direction for a snap shot if that was what he was waiting for.

  • Nellie made a snap shot at him, and, either from exhaustion or the effect of her bullet, he fell prone and motionless.

    A Modern Buccaneer Rolf Boldrewood
  • They had no desire to test his skill further than that one snap shot through their officer's brain.

  • I got one snap shot at his fleeting blurred image and missed him.

  • Without a sight, almost without aim, I fired, as one would fire a snap shot at a snipe.

    Long Odds H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for snap shot

snap shot

(sport) a sudden, fast shot at goal


an informal photograph taken with a simple camera Often shortened to snap
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 snap shot



also snap-shot, 1808, "a quick shot with a gun, without aim, at a fast-moving target," from snap + shot (n.). Photographic sense is attested from 1890. Figuratively, of something captured at a moment in time, from 1897.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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