Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To steal (something, usually something of little value); pilfer. See Synonyms at steal.
  • intransitive v. To turn informer: He snitched on his comrades.
  • n. A thief.
  • n. An informer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To steal, quickly and quietly.
  • v. To inform on.
  • v. To contact or cooperate with the police for any reason.
  • n. A thief.
  • n. An informer, usually one who betrays his group.
  • n. this sense) (UK) A nose.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police
  • v. take by theft
  • v. give away information about somebody

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • In these cases, these individuals were stigmatized with the label "snitch" or "stool pigeon."

    Elena Quintana: The Problem With Snitching

  • And, you know, the term snitch used to refer to one criminal who ratted out another criminal in order to get a lesser sentence.

    CNN Transcript Apr 24, 2007

  • I spoke to multimillionaire rap star Cam'ron about why he uses the term snitch and encourages people not to talk to police, says he himself would never talk to police.

    CNN Transcript Apr 24, 2007

  • The same con game is used by people of questionable ethics who invented the term "snitch" to demonize and prevent whistleblowers "ratting them out."

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • And he was so scared, he did not go to school yesterday because he sensed that, for being what they call a snitch, something bad would happen to him.

    CNN Transcript Oct 13, 2009

  • "The word 'snitch' puts witnesses in a category where they have done something wrong, this is not the case."

    Evening Standard - Home

  • I think the reason kids are told not to snitch is because they will be retaliated against.

    Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 10/01/09

  • The reason why people are scared to snitch is because they fear their lives.

    Nas: ‘Open letter to young warriors in Chicago’

  • RAFOLS: Police say this is where a 38-year-old woman was kidnapped, beaten, and branded with a hot iron, the word snitch scorched into her cheek, then blindfolded, driven, and dropped in this nearby neighborhood.

    CNN Transcript Jun 22, 2007

  • Apparently, they bought a branding iron with the word snitch on it.

    CNN Transcript Jun 22, 2007

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Comments

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  • Frank Burns: At school I used to snitch on myself for not snitching.

    August 14, 2009