Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to snuff: snuff film
not up to snuff
Not as good as what was expected, required, or demanded; not satisfactory or adequate. Jim, I know you've been going through a tough time since your wife passed, but these reports just aren't up to snuff. I used to eat there all the time, but to be honest, their food hasn't been up to snuff recently.
A film that shows the actual murder or death of a person. Although snuff films are illegal, they are still widely circulated on the black market.
not up to scratch and not up to snuff
Fig. not adequate. Sorry, your paper isn't up to scratch. Please do it over again. The performance was not up to snuff.
snuff someone out
Sl. to kill someone. Max really wanted to snuff the eyewiteness out, once and for all. Lefty wanted to snuff out his partner.
snuff something out
to extinguish something, such as a flame. she snuffed all the candles out and went to bed. Karen snuffed out the flames one by one.
up to par
Fig. as good as the standard or average; up to standard. I'm just not feeling up to par today. I must be coming down with something. The manager said that the report was not up to par and gave it back to Mary to do over again.
up to snuffand up to scratch
Fig. as good as is required; meeting the minimum requirements. Sorry, Tom. Your performance isn't up to snuff. You'll have to improve or find another job. My paper wasn't up to scratch, so I got an F.
up to par
at the usual or expected standard up to the mark When your work is up to par we can review your salary again. Are your computer skills up to par?Related vocabulary: at (a) low ebb
Usage notes: often used in the form not up to par: She hasn't been up to par since the beginning of last week.
up to scratch
at an acceptable standard or quality We're giving him a week to bring the team up to scratch.Related vocabulary: on a par with somebody/something
Usage notes: often used in the form not up to scratch: I'm afraid your last essay wasn't up to scratch.
snuff out somethingalso snuff something out
to put an end to something The bomber triggered his explosion and snuffed out the lives of 167 innocent people in that building. Before he could reach the top in his career, a scandal almost snuffed it out.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of snuff out (to stop a flame from burning)
up to snuff
at or to an acceptable level of quality We have a part in designing and manufacturing products and then checking to make sure they're up to snuff. Utah's bridges are in trouble, and it would cost $88 million to bring the worst cases up to snuff.
Usage notes: often used in the negative: Earnings weren't up to snuff in the last quarter.
a snuff movie
a film that is intended to be sexually exciting which shows a person being murdered In May '92 he was arrested and charged with importing snuff movies into the country.
up to snuff
if someone or something is up to snuff, they are of an acceptable standard or quality (often negative) Their wine-list is very good but I'm afraid the food isn't really up to snuff. The police force is replacing its older patrol cars to make sure they all come up to snuff. We have spent a tremendous amount of money bringing the department up to snuff.
1. Extinguish, put a sudden end to, as in Three young lives were snuffed out in that automobile accident. This usage alludes to snuff in the sense of "put out a candle by pinching the wick," an area itself called snuff from the late 1300s on. [Mid-1800s]
2. Kill, murder, as in If he told the police, the gang would snuff him out. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
3. Also, snuff it. Die or be killed, as in He looked very ill indeed, as though he might snuff out any day, or Grandpa just snuffed it. [Slang; second half of 1800s]
up to par
Also, up to scratch or snuff or speed or the mark . Satisfactory, up to a given standard, as in She didn't feel up to par today so she stayed home, or I'm sure he'll come up to scratch when the time comes, or She's up to snuff again. Nearly all the versions of this idiom come from sports, par from golf, scratch and mark from boxing (after being knocked down a fighter had eight seconds to make his way to a mark scratched in the center of the ring), and speed from racing. However, the allusion in the variant with snuff, which dates from the early 1800s, has been lost.
1. To extinguish something: The altar server snuffed out the candles. I saw her snuff a match out with her fingers.
2. To put a sudden end to something: The war has snuffed out many young lives. I had a promising career as a dancer, but a tragic injury snuffed it out.
3. Slang To kill someone; murder someone: The police accused the widow of snuffing out her husband. The gangsters snuffed him out before he could testify in court.
n. a film that records an actual death or killing. Some of these snuff films have a loyal following of real sickies.
tv. to die. The cat leapt straight up in the air and snuffed it.
See also: snuff
snuff someone (out)
tv. to kill someone. Max really wanted to snuff the eyewitness out, once and for all.
See also: snuff
up to scratchand up to snuff
mod. satisfactory; up to what is expected. (Colloquial. Snuff is related in some way to tobacco. Scratch may allude to the starting or finish line in a contest.) We felt that the entertainment was not up to scratch. The food was up to snuff, but the hotel staff was not at its usually efficient best.
up to snuffverb
See up to scratch
up to scratchInformal
1. Meeting the requirements.
2. In fit condition.
up to snuffInformal
1. Normal in health.
2. Up to standard; adequate.
up to scratch
Meets the standards. In the days of bare-knuckle fighting, bouts took place within a large circle drawn on the bare ground (that's where the phrase “boxing ring” came from). The contest began with the fighters facing off while standing on either side of a line scratched on the dirt in the middle of the ring. A fighter who was physically and mentally ready to take part stood at the line and was, therefore, up to scratch. “Up to snuff ” has much the same meaning. Powdered tobacco was said to sharpen the user's mind, so if you were up to snuff, you were mentally and also physically ready to go.