Definition of snap-action in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsnapˌakSH(ə)n/ /ˈsnæpˌækʃ(ə)n/


  • 1Denoting a switch or relay that makes and breaks contact rapidly, whatever the speed of the activating mechanism.

    • ‘When the gate switches between its two states, it does so abruptly, like a snap-action light switch.’
    • ‘The snap-action switching element is operated via plungers which act on the outer limbs of the spring.’
    • ‘With multiple options available for contact configurations, terminals and actuators, you can configure a Cherry miniature snap-action switch to fit nearly any size and electrical requirements.’
  • 2Denoting a gun whose hinged barrel is secured by a spring catch.

    ‘The ejector is operated by the rotation of the joint-check, and allows the shells to be pressed clean home, if preferred. These guns, I understand, will be on the market in a short time, and I believe today no stronger fastening can be made on any snap-action gun.’


snap action
  • The operation of a snap-action switch, relay, or gun.

    • ‘When the preset differential limit is reached, the valve closes with a ‘snap action’ for a tight seal.’
    • ‘The snap action of the bimetal disc provides high-speed contact separation resulting in excellent life cycle characteristics at electrical loads up to 15 amps at 120VAC and 10 amps at 250VAC.’
    • ‘This "safe" condition allows for a couple of tooling iterations of the latch, until the snap action is considered acceptable.’



/ˈsnapˌakSH(ə)n/ /ˈsnæpˌækʃ(ə)n/