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Denotation vs. Connotation

snob

[snob] /snɒb/
noun
1.
a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
2.
a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field:
a musical snob.
Origin of snob
1775-1785
1775-85; orig. uncert; first used as a nickname for a cobbler or cobbler's apprentice, hence a townsman, someone of low class or lacking good breeding, commoner, hence someone who imitates persons of higher rank
Related forms
antisnob, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for snob
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is nothing a snob hates so much as snobbery in another.

    The Way of Ambition Robert Hichens
  • He who bullies those who are not in a position to resist may be a snob, but cannot be a gentleman.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • I am far from being a snob, Archie, but Newport is really the loveliest place in America.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
  • We are left with the uneasy impression that William is a snob.

  • While he was there he contributed to The snob, the name of which suggested to him a title in after years.

    The Age of Tennyson Hugh Walker
British Dictionary definitions for snob

snob

/snɒb/
noun
1.
  1. a person who strives to associate with those of higher social status and who behaves condescendingly to others Compare inverted snob
  2. (as modifier): snob appeal
2.
a person having similar pretensions with regard to his tastes, etc: an intellectual snob
Derived Forms
snobbery, noun
snobbish, adjective
snobbishly, adverb
snobbishness, snobbism, noun
snobby, adjective
Word Origin
C18 (in the sense: shoemaker; hence, C19: a person who flatters those of higher station, etc): of unknown origin
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 snob
n.

1781, "a shoemaker, a shoemaker's apprentice," of unknown origin. It came to be used in Cambridge University slang c.1796, often contemptuously, for "townsman, local merchant," and passed then into literary use, where by 1831 it was being used for "person of the ordinary or lower classes." Meaning "person who vulgarly apes his social superiors" is by 1843, popularized 1848 by William Thackeray's "Book of Snobs." The meaning later broadened to include those who insist on their gentility, in addition to those who merely aspire to it, and by 1911 the word had its main modern sense of "one who despises those considered inferior in rank, attainment, or taste."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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