Meaning of snaffle in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsnaf(ə)l/

See synonyms for snaffle

Translate snaffle into Spanish


  • 1

    (also snaffle bit)
    (on a bridle) a simple bit, typically a jointed one, used with a single set of reins.

    ‘To learn the two track maneuver, use a martingale or a snaffle bit with draw reins to encourage the horse to flex through the poll and keep his head still.’
    • ‘If she got a little strung out, or she leaned a little on the snaffle bit, I simply applied a half-halt as if I was aboard a hunter or dressage horse and I had my perfect little jog.’
    • ‘Only after the horse and human have progressed beyond the teaching phase the snaffle bit is introduced.’
    • ‘He let us put a snaffle bit in his mouth, but I could tell he didn't like it.’
    • ‘Stubbs represents the hunt followers as having good, light hands and aiming to ride on a loose rein, taking only the lightest possible contact with their horses' mouths, and then only with small snaffle bits.’
    1. 1.1A bridle with a snaffle bit.
      ‘The horse should be fitted with a snaffle bridle, cavesson, roller or saddle, side reins and protection on all four legs, either boots or securely fitted bandages.’
      • ‘These horsemen rode with short stirrups, in snaffle bridles with a loose rein, in an uncollected, free forward manner that was the exact opposite of the extreme collection of the Continental riding school, with its emphasis on curb bits.’
      • ‘Notice the preponderance of single-rein snaffle bridles.’
      • ‘Those willing started bridling the horses in simple snaffles.’
      • ‘I used Penny's western bridle: a loose-ring, sweet iron snaffle with split reins and a long training fork or running martingale.’


[with object] informal British
  • Take (something) for oneself, typically quickly or without permission.

    • ‘shall we snaffle some of Bernard's sherry?’
    • ‘If anyone has forgotten to pack their white shirt - a not uncommon occurrence, one member of the orchestra says - they have quickly snaffled a replacement.’
    • ‘More than half the tickets were quickly snaffled by Lions supporters.’
    • ‘But what about Jeremy Paxman's book, Friends in High Places, that showed the best jobs are snaffled by those from public schools and elite universities?’
    • ‘Greenwood snaffled the ball at the front of a line out and sprinted 20 metres to open the second-half scoring.’
    • ‘Don't forget to snaffle a snack mid-afternoon, to maintain your glucose levels.’
    steal, thieve, rob, take, purloin, help oneself to, abscond with, run off with, carry off
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (denoting a bridle bit): probably from Low German or Dutch; compare with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch snavel ‘beak, mouth’. The verb (mid 19th century) is perhaps a different word.