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

  • n. Any of several chiefly marine percoid fishes of the family Centropomidae, especially Centropomus undecimalis, a food and game fish of warm Atlantic waters. Also called sergeant fish.
  • n. A gesture of derision or defiance.
  • idiom snook Chiefly British To thumb one's nose: "[The clock] is set wrong and hung crooked, as if to cock a snook at the importance of time” ( Kevin Crossley-Holland).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A freshwater and marine fish of the family Centropomidae in the order Perciformes.
  • n. A name for various other fishes. See Snook on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • v. To fish for snook.
  • n. A disrespectful gesture, performed by placing the tip of a thumb on one's nose with the fingers spread, and typically while wiggling the fingers back and forth.
  • v. To sniff out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large perchlike marine food fish (Centropomus undecimalis) found both on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of tropical America; -- called also ravallia, and robalo.
  • n. The cobia.
  • n. The garfish.
  • intransitive v. To lurk; to lie in ambush.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lurk; lie in ambush; pry about.
  • To smell; search out
  • n. The cobia, crab-eater, or sergeant-fish, Elacate canada. See cut under cobia
  • n. Any fish of the genus Centropomus; a robalo. See robalo, and cut under Centropomus.
  • n. A garfish.
  • n. A carangoid fish, Thyrsites atun: so called at the Cape of Good Hope, and also snoek (a Dutch form).
  • n. The pike and various other fishes of similar shape.

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

  • n. large tropical American food and game fishes of coastal and brackish waters; resemble pike


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

Dutch snoek, pike, from Middle Dutch snoec.
Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Dutch snoek

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the 19th century. Unknown origin, possibly related to snoot or snout.


  • BoingBoing reader Edward translates, "The phrase 'cocking a snook' is brit for the five-fingered salute (thumb to nose, fingers waggling)."

    Boing Boing: June 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003 Archives

  • •Already, the FWC has received reports of the loss of large numbers of fish such as snook, bonefish and tarpon, species that are especially reliant on warm water. Front Page

  • The ninth frame saw Aditya contend with the referee that Sourav's attempted 'snook' hadn't really released the cue ball but the flash point soon subsided as Aditya later owned up to a foul that was spotted neither by the referee nor his opponent.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • I snook up and saw it was my buck and he was dead.

    How long do you wait for a gut shot deer?

  • The mural depicts a swordfish, a redfish, a grouper and a snook.

    Florida Tackle-Shop Fish Mural: Ad or Art?

  • While the initial executive orders from the state caused some confusion with the wording, many people thought the entire season was closed for bonefish, tarpon and snook.

    Uncategorized Blog Posts

  • And, "temporarily extends closed harvest seasons for snook statewide."

    Uncategorized Blog Posts

  • Specifically, the snook population took a massive hit with estimates that up to 7% of the entire population died.

    Uncategorized Blog Posts

  • While most fly fishers daydream about tarpon and bonefish, I'm finding myself more and more fixated on snook.

    Uncategorized Blog Posts

  • The Everglades National Park is a great spot to catch snook, but if you're looking for the monsters, you have to go to Central America.

    Uncategorized Blog Posts


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  • 1. Any basslike fish of the genus Centropomus, esp. C. undecimalis, inhabiting waters off Florida and the West Indies and south to Brazil, valued as food and game.

    Any of several related marine fishes.

    (Origin: 1690–1700; < Dutch snoek)

    2. A gesture of defiance, disrespect, or derision.

    Idiom: cock a snook or cock one's snook, to thumb the nose: a painter who cocks a snook at traditional techniques. Also, cock a snoot.

    (Origin: 1875–80; orig. uncert.)

    October 8, 2007