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[snoop] /snup/ Informal.
verb (used without object)
to prowl or pry; go about in a sneaking, prying way.
an act or instance of snooping.
a person who snoops.
a private detective.
Origin of snoop
1825-35, Americanism; < Dutch snoepen to take and eat food on the sly
Related forms
snooper, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for snooping
  • Once you're in the network, there's nothing to stop snooping other clients on the network.
  • But they are equally fascinating to those not snooping around the family tree.
  • The first is an old-fashioned backdoor inquiry: ie, snooping.
  • All of you: grow up and stop snooping around to find out what your colleagues earn.
  • So there was a reasonable expectation that people might find that they carried it snooping through their genomes.
  • But the first practical use for the research turns out to be snooping on shoppers.
  • Of course, these laws and policies merely authorize such snooping.
  • Other kinds of snooping occur inside the administration.
  • Tenn trooper accused of snooping on media, musician.
  • Well, you can do anything, but the trick with snooping utilities is to get the data sorted and organized so it is useful.
British Dictionary definitions for snooping


(intransitive; often foll by about or around) to pry into the private business of others
a person who pries into the business of others
an act or instance of snooping
Derived Forms
snoopy, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch snoepen to eat furtively
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 snooping



1832, "to go around in a prying manner," American English, probably from Dutch snoepen "to pry," also "eat in secret, eat sweets, sneak," probably related to snappen "to bite, snatch" (see snap (v.)). Specific meaning "to pry into other people's business" is attested from 1921. Related: Snooped; snooping.


1891, "act of snooping," from snoop (v.). Meaning "one who snoops" is from 1929; meaning "detective" is from 1942. snooper "one who pries or peeps" is from 1889.

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



Swindled; cheated: snookered by the post office again

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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