from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An elaborate practical joke in which an unsuspecting person takes part in a bogus hunt for a snipe, typically being left alone in the dark with instructions not to move until the snipe appears.
  • noun A futile search or endeavor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun idiomatic A prank in which a gullible victim is sent off on a fruitless search for a nonexistent item.
  • verb intransitive To participate, as the gullible victim, in a snipe hunt.

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

  • noun an elaborate practical joke in which the unsuspecting victim hunts a snipe and is typically left in the dark holding a bag and waiting for the snipe to run into it


Sorry, no etymologies found.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • Cf. Scots hunt-the-gowk.

    May 26, 2011

  • What's with all the sniping, bro?

    May 26, 2011

  • It's all just the musings of a guttersnipe.

    May 26, 2011

  • Here, snipe, snipe, snipe.... *whacks paper bag with stick*

    May 31, 2011