AskDefine | Define snapping

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of catching an object with the hands; "Mays made the catch with his back to the plate"; "he made a grab for the ball before it landed"; "Martin's snatch at the bridle failed and the horse raced away"; "the infielder's snap and throw was a single motion" [syn: catch, grab, snatch]
2 a spell of cold weather; "a cold snap in the middle of May"
3 tender green beans without strings that easily snap into sections [syn: snap bean]
4 a crisp round cookie flavored with ginger [syn: gingersnap, ginger snap, ginger nut]
5 the noise produced by the rapid movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand; "servants appeared at the snap of his fingers"
6 a sudden sharp noise; "the crack of a whip"; "he heard the cracking of the ice"; "he can hear the snap of a twig" [syn: crack, cracking]
7 a sudden breaking
8 the tendency of a body to return to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed; "the waistband had lost its snap" [syn: elasticity] [ant: inelasticity]
9 an informal photograph; usually made with a small hand-held camera; "my snapshots haven't been developed yet"; "he tried to get unposed shots of his friends" [syn: snapshot, shot]
10 a fastener used on clothing; fastens with a snapping sound; "children can manage snaps better than buttons" [syn: snap fastener, press stud]
11 any undertaking that is easy to do; "marketing this product will be no picnic" [syn: cinch, breeze, picnic, duck soup, child's play, pushover, walkover, piece of cake]
12 the act of snapping the fingers; movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand; "he gave his fingers a snap"
13 (American football) putting the ball in play by passing it (between the legs) to a back; "the quarterback fumbled the snap" [syn: centering]


1 utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone; "The sales clerky snapped a reply at the angry customer"; "The guard snarled at us" [syn: snarl]
2 separate or cause to separate abruptly; "The rope snapped"; "tear the paper" [syn: tear, rupture, bust]
3 break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension; "The rope snapped" [syn: crack]
4 move or strike with a noise; "he clicked on the light"; "his arm was snapped forward" [syn: click]
5 snap close with a sound; "The lock snapped shut"
6 make a sharp sound; "his fingers snapped" [syn: crack]
7 move with a snapping sound; "bullets snapped past us"
8 to grasp hastily or eagerly; "Before I could stop him the dog snatched the ham bone" [syn: snatch, snatch up]
9 put in play with a snap; "snap a football"
10 cause to make a snapping sound; "snap your fingers" [syn: click, flick]
11 lose control of one's emotions; "When she heard that she had not passed the exam, she lost it completely"; "When her baby died, she snapped" [syn: break down, lose it]
12 record on photographic film; "I photographed the scene of the accident"; "She snapped a picture of the President" [syn: photograph, shoot] [also: snapping, snapped]snapping See snap

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of snap

Extensive Definition

Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change is a 1978 anti-cult book which describes the authors' theory of religious conversion, called snapping in terms of mind control, a mental process which the authors argue by which a person is recruited by a cult or other religious movements.
It is also used to describe the process of "snapping out of it" during deprogramming or exit counseling, which the authors recommend as an antidote, a way of repairing the "snap".
Two editions of the book were published, the first one (1978) was published by Lippincot; which was reprinted in 1979 by Dell; and a second edition (1995) was published by Stillpoint Press, a publishing company owned by the authors.


The authors Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman describe snapping as: "an experience that is unmistakably traumatic ... Sudden change comes in a moment of intense experience that is not so much a peak as a precipice, an unforeseen break in the continuity of awareness that may leave them detached, withdrawn, disoriented - and utterly confused."
Ted Patrick, sometimes called the "father of deprogramming" and who was later convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to one year in prison for his attempt to deprogram Roberta McElfish, was interviewed in the book. He said:
They have the ability to come up to you and talk about anything they feel you're interested in, anything. Their technique is to get your attention, then your trust. The minute they get your trust, just like that they can put you in the cult."
Marjoe Gortner explained some of the tricks and methods in the book that he used when he was still an evangelical preacher.
The book did not make it clear what the difference is between a conversion to a mainstream religion and to a cult.

Second edition (1995)

The second edition, which was self-published by the authors,


Further reading

  • Barker, Eileen New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction (Paperback) Bernan Press (October, 1990) ISBN 0-11-340927-3

External links

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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