From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsnatchsnatch1 /snætʃ/ ●○○ verb [transitive] 1 TAKE something FROM somebodyto take something away from someone with a quick, often violent, movement SYN grab The thief snatched her purse and ran.snatch something away/back from somebody Keith snatches toys away from the other children.2 TAKE something FROM SOMEWHEREto take someone away from a person or place, especially by force Vargas was snatched from his home by two armed men.3 DO something/TAKE ACTIONto quickly get something, especially sleep or rest, because you do not have very much time SYN grab I managed to snatch an hour’s sleep on the train. → snatch at something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpussnatch• Coles tried to snatch a few hours' sleep.• He snatches a loaf from the baker's counter and is promptly run into gaol.• When no one was looking, he snatched a tray of watches and ran out of the shop.• Unfortunately, street crimes such as purse snatching are common.• A young boy pushed her over and snatched her purse as she fell.• Before I could say a word, he'd snatched the keys from the table and run out of the room.• Masked gunmen snatched two members of the group from their hotel.• Someone's going to snatch your purse if you leave it sticking out of your bag like that.snatch something away/back from somebody• Startled, the man snatches his arm away from me.snatchsnatch2 noun [countable] 1 → a snatch of conversation/music/song etc2 → in snatches3 TAKE something FROM SOMEWHEREwhen someone quickly takes or steals something reports of a bag snatch4 taboo informal a very offensive word for a woman’s sex organ. Do not use this word.
Examples from the Corpussnatch• Among snatches of conversation, both of us remember his referring to the underground as being rather like hell.• Many species will, in complete darkness, utter a few snatches of song if disturbed at their roosts.• As it is, most parents take only brief peeks into classrooms and hear snatches of information about curriculum.• We started to climb, accompanied by intermittent snatches of bird song: wood warbler, garden warbler and willow warbler.• You know, sitting in a train or walking down the street, little snatches of things.• I turn the volume low, to stop picking up snatches of conversation from next door.• She remembered it in vivid violent snatches punctuated by haze or darkness.Origin snatch1 (1100-1200) Perhaps from Middle Dutch snacken; → SNACK2