A snag is something sharp that sticks out, like a splinter or a dead tree branch. It’s also a hitch in a plan. If you develop a terrible cat allergy, your lifelong dream of being a cat trainer has hit a snag.

A snag is something that you get stuck on, either literally or figuratively. If you catch your tights on a snag and change into different ones, it might put a snag in your plans to dress all in pink for the day. When something's caught this way, it snags. Snag, a U.S. coinage, was first used when steamboats got stuck on a log or branch in the river: "Captain, we've hit a snag!"

Definitions of snag

n a sharp protuberance

Type of:
bulge, bump, excrescence, extrusion, gibbosity, gibbousness, hump, jut, prominence, protrusion, protuberance, swelling
something that bulges out or is protuberant or projects from its surroundings

n a dead tree that is still standing, usually in an undisturbed forest

“a snag can provide food and a habitat for insects and birds”
Type of:
a tall perennial woody plant having a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown; includes both gymnosperms and angiosperms

n an opening made forcibly as by pulling apart

“she had snags in her stockings”
rent, rip, split, tear
Type of:
gap, opening
an open or empty space in or between things

n an unforeseen obstacle

hang-up, hitch, rub
Type of:
obstacle, obstruction
something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted

v catch on a snag

“I snagged my stocking”
Type of:
catch, hitch
to hook or entangle

v get by acting quickly and smartly

snag a bargain”
Type of:
come into possession of

v hew jaggedly

Type of:
strike with an axe; cut down, strike

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