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[snoo k-er, snoo-ker] /ˈsnʊk ər, ˈsnu kər/
a variety of pool played with 15 red balls and 6 balls of colors other than red, in which a player must shoot one of the red balls, each with a point value of 1, into a pocket before shooting at one of the other balls, with point values of from 2 to 7.
verb (used with object)
Slang. to deceive, cheat, or dupe:
to be snookered by a mail order company.
1885-90; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for snooker
  • Farmers play cards at the next table and snooker in the adjoining room.
  • Hunting a moving animal is akin to understanding the trajectory and relative path of a snooker ball.
  • Or think of a ball on a billiard or snooker table with a magnet that attracts another ball.
  • The same universal laws seems to govern player rankings in sports as diverse as tennis, fencing, snooker and many others.
  • Most snooker-players automatically confess to ball-touching offences not spotted by the referee.
  • As he says this he gestures at a mothballed snooker room.
  • There is a state-of-the-art fitness center, swimming pool, whirlpool and snooker lounge.
  • The conservatory offers a halfway-house between both worlds so you'll find a snooker table in the former vaulted chapel.
  • If he'd had a snooker cue, he would have blown suavely on the tip.
  • Used in snooker in reference to the position of the cue ball.
British Dictionary definitions for snooker


a game played on a billiard table with 15 red balls, six balls of other colours, and a white cue ball. The object is to pot the balls in a certain order
a shot in which the cue ball is left in a position such that another ball blocks the object ball. The opponent is then usually forced to play the cue ball off a cushion
verb (transitive)
to leave (an opponent) in an unfavourable position by playing a snooker
to place (someone) in a difficult situation
(often passive) to thwart; defeat
Word Origin
C19: 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 snooker

1889, the game and the word said in an oft-told story to have been invented in India by British officers as a diversion from billiards. The name is perhaps a reference (with regard to the rawness of play by a fellow officer) to British slang snooker "newly joined cadet" (1872). Tradition ascribes the coinage to Col. Sir Neville Chamberlain (not the later prime minister of the same name), at the time subaltern in the Devonshire Regiment in Jubbulpore.


"to cheat," early 1900s, from snooker (n.), probably because in the game novices can easily be tricked. Related: Snookered; snookering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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