American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A small firecracker.
- n. A broken firecracker that burns but does not explode.
- n. A brief satirical or witty writing or speech, such as a lampoon.
- n. A short, sometimes humorous piece in a newspaper or magazine, usually used as a filler.
- v. To write or utter squibs.
- v. To write or utter squibs against; lampoon.
- v. Football To kick (the ball) low on a kickoff so that it bounces along the ground.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To move swiftly and irregularly.
- To make a slight, sharp report, like that of an exploding squib.
- To resort to the use of squibs, or petty lampoons.
- To throw (in or out) suddenly; explode.
- To attack in squibs; lampoon.
- n. A ball or tube filled with gunpowder, sent or fired swiftly through the air or along the ground, exploding somewhat like a rocket.
- n. A reed, rush, quill, or roll of paper filled with a priming of gunpowder; a tube of some kind used to set off a charge of gunpowder, as at the bottom of a drill-hole. Also called mote, train, and match.
- n. A fire-cracker, especially one broken in the middle so that when it is fired the charge explodes without a loud report.
- n. A petty lampoon; a short satirical writing or sketch holding up a person or thing to ridicule.
- n. One who writes lampoons or squibs; a petty satirist; a paltry, trifling fellow.
- n. A kind of cheap taffy, made of treacle.
- n. military A small firework that is intended to spew sparks rather than explode.
- n. A similar device used to ignite an explosive or launch a rocket, etc.
- n. US Any small firecracker sold to the general public. Usually available in special clusters designed to explode in series after a single master fuze is lit.
- n. automotive The heating element used to set off the sodium azide pellets in a vehicle's airbag.
- n. A small explosive used to replicate a bullet hitting a surface.
- n. dated A short piece of witty writing; a lampoon.
- n. law In a legal casebook, a short summary of a legal action placed between more extensively quoted cases.
- n. linguistics A short article, often published in journals, that introduces empirical data problematic to linguistic theory or discusses an overlooked theoretical problem. In contrast to a typical linguistic article, a squib need not answer the questions that it poses.
- n. archaic An unimportant, paltry, or mean-spirited person.
- n. slang A sketched concept or visual solution, usually very quick and not too detailed. A word most commonly used within the Graphic Design industry.
- v. To make a sound such as a small explosion.
- v. colloquial, dated To throw squibs; to utter sarcastic or severe reflections; to contend in petty dispute.
- v. this sense?) (slang) To draw a concept or layout to visually explain an idea ("let me squib something to show you what I mean").
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A little pipe, or hollow cylinder of paper, filled with powder or combustible matter, to be thrown into the air while burning, so as to burst there with a crack.
- n. (Mining) A kind of slow match or safety fuse.
- n. A sarcastic speech or publication; a petty lampoon; a brief, witty essay.
- n. obsolete A writer of lampoons.
- n. obsolete A paltry fellow.
- v. colloq. To throw squibs; to utter sarcastic or severe reflections; to contend in petty dispute.
- n. firework consisting of a tube filled with powder (as a broken firecracker) that burns with a fizzing noise
- Possibly imitative of a small explosion. (Wiktionary)
- Probably imitative. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Here's a squib from the publisher's page about the book.”
“No 800-word opinion squib is going to substitute for several years of intensive training in a subject; nuance is inevitably going to get lost.”
“If last week's little demonstration by Iran -- calling for the elimination of Israel -- didn't convince you that the people who run that country are just plain nuts, perhaps this little squib from the National Post will help.”
“Taped to the squib is a small plastic bag of fake blood.”
“I also wrote a thousand word squib/essay about Sant Jordi, and a noi (Catlaan for "boy") I met my first year in Spain, that was supposed to be a max of 500 words.”
“It was madness to cover public buildings with open oil lamps and leave them to be looked after by natives -- this huge Taj hotel, dry as tinder outside, a complexity of dry wooden jalousies and balconies, was covered with these lights and floating flags -- how it didn't go off like a squib was a miracle.”
“While setting up a discussion, John McLaughlin quoted Naomi Klein's "squib" on a new Obama book titled The Mendacity of Hope, by Roger D. Hodge, the former editor-in-chief of Harper's magazine:”
“Rowling would call a "squib," little better than an ordinary no-Talent person or "muggle" — Mr. Card calls them "drowthers.”
“If you watch slow motion of the towers coming down, you can see explosive 'squib' charges detonating on floors well below the area that is currently collapsing.”
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