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Denotation vs. Connotation

squib

[skwib] /skwɪb/
noun
1.
a short and witty or sarcastic saying or writing.
2.
Journalism. a short news story, often used as a filler.
3.
a small firework, consisting of a tube or ball filled with powder, that burns with a hissing noise terminated usually by a slight explosion.
4.
a firecracker broken in the middle so that it burns with a hissing noise but does not explode.
5.
Australian. a coward.
6.
an electric, pyrotechnic device for firing the igniter of a rocket engine, especially a solid-propellant engine.
7.
Obsolete. a mean or paltry fellow.
verb (used without object), squibbed, squibbing.
8.
to write squibs.
9.
to shoot a squib.
10.
to explode with a small, sharp sound.
11.
to move swiftly and irregularly.
12.
Australian.
  1. to be afraid.
  2. to flee; escape.
verb (used with object), squibbed, squibbing.
13.
to assail in squibs or lampoons.
14.
to toss, shoot, or utilize as a squib.
Origin of squib
1515-1525
1515-25; origin uncertain
Related forms
squibbish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for squib
Historical Examples
  • If the nest is high up, attach the squib to a stick, light, and keep it close (while burning) to the entrance.

  • Here is a pistol, it is not loaded, but there is powder in the pan, and you can squib it.

    The Buccaneer Chief Gustave Aimard
  • Like a squib upon a line, i'faith; it ran through one row, and came back upon me in the next.

  • Would Leonidas have fastened a squib to the robe of the Spartan mother?

    Damon and Delia William Godwin
  • The clumsiest thing a dramatist can possibly do is to lay a long and elaborate train for the ignition of a squib.

    Play-Making William Archer
  • With eleven illustrations, designed by squib, and engraved by Point.

    Life of Charles Dickens Frank Marzials
  • Nothing could exceed their surprise as the squib went whizzing up into the starry night.

    Norman Macleod John Wellwood
  • We entreat our readers not to receive the above as a squib of invention.

  • I cried, each word sounding like a squib let off at my ear; and making a dash for the door, the next instant I was outside.

  • “I could turn him with a bit of a bush,” said squib, glancing at Gouws, who was drawing gradually nearer to the party.

    Six Months at the Cape R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for squib

squib

/skwɪb/
noun
1.
a firework, usually having a tube filled with gunpowder, that burns with a hissing noise and culminates in a small explosion
2.
a firework that does not explode because of a fault; dud
3.
a short witty attack; lampoon
4.
an electric device for firing a rocket engine
5.
(obsolete) an insignificant person
6.
(Austral & NZ, slang) a coward
7.
damp squib, something intended but failing to impress
verb squibs, squibbing, squibbed
8.
(intransitive) to sound, move, or explode like a squib
9.
(intransitive) to let off or shoot a squib
10.
to write a squib against (someone)
11.
(intransitive) to move in a quick irregular fashion
12.
(intransitive) (Austral, slang) to behave in a cowardly fashion
Word Origin
C16: probably imitative of a quick light explosion
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 squib
n.

1520s, "short bit of sarcastic writing, witty scoff," of unknown origin. If the meaning "small firework that burns with a hissing noise" is the original one, the word might be imitative.

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

squeeze-box

noun

An accordion (1936+)

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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16
18
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