v. snatched, snatch·ing, snatch·es
a. To grasp or seize hastily, eagerly, or suddenly: snatched the dollar from my hand.
b. To steal, especially quickly or with a sudden movement.
c. Informal To kidnap (someone).
2. Sports To raise (a weight) in one quick, uninterrupted motion from the floor to a position over the lifter's head.
a. To obtain or achieve quickly or unexpectantly: snatched an early lead in the game.
b. To get (a small amount of sleep).
To make grasping or seizing motions: snatched at the lamp cord.
a. The act of snatching; a quick grasp or grab.
b. Informal A kidnapping.
2. A brief period of time: "At the end we preferred to travel all night, / Sleeping in snatches" (T.S. Eliot).
3. A small amount; a bit or fragment: a snatch of dialogue.
4. Sports A lift in weightlifting in which the weight is raised in one uninterrupted motion from the floor to a position over the lifter's head.
5. Vulgar Slang The vulva.
[Middle English snacchen.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.