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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 snipers
  • During world war i, snipers appeared as deadly sharpshooters in the trenches.
  • During world war ii, snipers reappeared as important factors on the battlefield.
  • Often in situations with multiple targets, snipers must use a special kind of tactic.
  • Usually, soviet snipers were unable to resist the temptation of an apparently easy kill.
  • snipers are less likely to be treated mercifully if captured by the enemy.
  • The ultimate sniper an advanced training manual for military & police snipers.
British Dictionary definitions for snipers

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
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 snipers

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 snipers

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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