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snipe

[snahyp] /snaɪp/
noun, plural snipes (especially collectively) snipe for 1, 2.
1.
any of several long-billed game birds of the genera Gallinago (Capella) and Limnocryptes, inhabiting marshy areas, as G. gallinago (common snipe) of Eurasia and North America, having barred and striped white, brown, and black plumage.
2.
any of several other long-billed birds, as some sandpipers.
3.
a shot, usually from a hidden position.
verb (used without object), sniped, sniping.
4.
to shoot or hunt snipe.
5.
to shoot at individuals as opportunity offers from a concealed or distant position:
The enemy was sniping from the roofs.
6.
to attack a person or a person's work with petulant or snide criticism, especially anonymously or from a safe distance.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English snype (noun) < Old Norse -snīpa (in mȳrisnīpa moor snipe); cognate with Norwegian snipa, Icelandic snīpa; compare Danish sneppe, German Schnepfe
Related forms
snipelike, adjective
sniper, noun
countersniper, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sniper
  • Except for some incredible sniper shots these things are not that precise.
  • But be careful-that's when you can get shot by a sniper.
  • Phages are the sniper rifles to antibiotics' flame-throwers.
  • Sensors can help find a sniper by measuring the acoustical signature of a bullet.
  • The crowd then moved to a local high school, where bottles were thrown and two shots were fired by a sniper.
  • They recruited more police officers, arrested a sniper, and rebuilt the market.
  • Reports say they have confronted sniper fire, heavy machine guns and even mortar rounds.
  • Prior success as a sniper is a good predictor of success in this unit.
  • In this particular episode, the role of the sniper on the battlefield is examined.
  • For the average sniper, the breeze might be a variable that matters.
British Dictionary definitions for sniper

snipe

/snaɪp/
noun (pl) snipe, snipes
1.
any of various birds of the genus Gallinago (or Capella) and related genera, such as G. gallinago (common or Wilson's snipe), of marshes and river banks, having a long straight bill: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes
2.
any of various similar related birds, such as certain sandpipers and curlews
3.
a shot, esp a gunshot, fired from a place of concealment
verb
4.
when intr, often foll by at. to attack (a person or persons) with a rifle from a place of concealment
5.
(intransitive) often foll by at. to criticize adversely a person or persons from a position of security
6.
(intransitive) to hunt or shoot snipe
Derived Forms
snipelike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse snīpa; related to Old High German snepfa Middle Dutch snippe

sniper

/ˈsnaɪpə/
noun
1.
a rifleman who fires from a concealed place, esp a military marksman who fires from cover usually at long ranges at individual enemy soldiers
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 sniper
n.

"sharpshooter; one who shoots from a hidden place," 1824, agent noun from snipe (v.). The birds were considered a challenging target for an expert shooter:

Snipe Shooting is a good trial of the gunner's skill, who often engages in this diversion, without the assistance of a dog of any kind; a steady pointer, however, is a good companion. ["Sportsman's Calendar," London, December 1818]

snipe

n.

long-billed marsh bird, early 14c., from Old Norse -snipa in myrisnipa "moor snipe;" perhaps a common Germanic term (cf. Old Saxon sneppa, Middle Dutch snippe, Dutch snip, Old High German snepfa, German Schnepfe "snipe," Swedish snäppa "sandpiper"), perhaps originally "snipper." The Old English name was snite, which is of uncertain derivation. An opprobrious term (cf. guttersnipe) since c.1600.

v.

"shoot from a hidden place," 1773 (among British soldiers in India), in reference to hunting snipe as game, from snipe (n.). Figurative use from 1892. Related: Sniped; sniping.

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

snipe

noun
  1. A cigarette or cigar butt (1889+)
  2. An en-gine-room hand, aircraft mechanic, or other below-decks crew member: ''Snipes'' service and maintain their flying crews' birds (1920+ Navy)

[origin obscure, although apparently these, along with several other slang uses, both British and US, all refer somehow to the long-billed bird and its habits]


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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