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snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

To fail, lose, or be defeated despite the appearance that one would be victorious, especially due to a mistake, error, or poor judgment. (An ironic reversal of the more common "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.") We were ahead by nearly 20 points with less than half the quarter remaining—how on earth did we manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like that? The candidate has led in the polls right up to election day, but with that unfortunate remark last night, he may well have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

To win, succeed, or be victorious at the last moment, despite the apparent likelihood of failure or defeat. They were down by nearly 20 points with less than half of the last quarter remaining, but through sheer skill and perseverance they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The candidate has been behind in the polls right up to election day, but with that unfortunate remark by his opponent last night, he may end up snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

snatch up

To purchase or acquire something quickly before anyone else has the chance. During the Black Friday sales, customers rush through stores snatching merchandise up at incredibly low prices. The corporation has been snatching up smaller startup companies to broaden its range of products and services.
See also: snatch, up


The act of being romantically involved with a much younger person. Primarily heard in UK. He's known for his cradle-snatching—he's currently dating a woman 25 years younger than him.

snatch at

1. To grab or grasp at someone or something. The father snatched at his child, but she managed to slip away from him and run back into the playground. I turned around just as I noticed the pickpocket snatching at my wallet.
2. To attempt to obtain, achieve, or make use of something. Be sure to snatch at this opportunity—you might never get another one like it! He's been snatching at reasons to fire Tom for weeks now.
See also: snatch

snatch (someone or something) from (someone or something else)

1. To seize or grab hold of someone or something very hastily or suddenly and take them or it away from someone or something else. He reached out and snatched the paper from my hands. Police rushed in and snatched the hostage from the criminal before tackling him to the ground.
2. To cause someone or something to lose control or possession of someone or something, especially very suddenly or unexpectedly. The child protection agency came and snatched our kids away from us without warning. The Labour Party is looking to snatch control of parliament from the Tories.
See also: snatch, something

snatch (someone or something) out of (something)

To seize or grab hold of someone or something very hastily or suddenly and take them or it out of and away from something. He reached out and snatched the paper out of my hands. I caught her snatching a cookie out of the cookie jar. The kidnappers broke into the house and snatched the millionaire's daughter out of her bed.
See also: of, out, snatch

snatch (one) out of the jaws of death

To rescue one from near or certain death at the very last possible moment. Thankfully, the EMTs arrived to the crash in time to snatch the woman and her child out of the jaws of death. The drowning fishermen were snatched out of the jaws of death by a passing cruise ship.
See also: death, jaw, of, out, snatch

snatch at someone or something

to grasp at someone or something. The mugger snatched at Jane just as she sprayed Mace on him. He snatched at the Mace, but it was too late.
See also: snatch

snatch something up

1. Lit. to grasp something and lift it up. Tom snatched the last cookie up and popped it into his mouth. He snatched up the last piece of cake.
2. Fig. to collect or acquire as many of something as possible. The shoppers snatched the sale merchandise up very quickly. The shoppers snatched up the sale merchandise very quickly.
See also: snatch, up

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

Cliché to win at the last moment. At the last moment, the team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last-second full-court basket.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory



robbing the cradle

Cradle-snatching is the practice of having a sexual relationship with a much younger partner. The woman is even older than his mother. It's cradle snatching! There'll always be those who accuse you of robbing the cradle. Note: You can describe someone who does this in British English as a cradle snatcher or, in American English, as a cradle robber. The ageing actress is a cradle snatcher, says her toyboy's family. Women who make off with men 15 to 30 years younger are viewed as neurotic cradle robbers. Note: These expressions are usually used in a disapproving way.

snatch at

To attempt to grasp or seize something by grabbing at it suddenly: The police officer snatched at the gun in the robber's hand.
See also: snatch
References in periodicals archive ?
I want to give message to all those who are concern and responsible please do positive steps and make sure how to eliminate mobile snatching crime in Karachi in order to protect the assets of every citizen.
If you find that the defendant carried a firearm in the course of committing the Robbery By Sudden Snatching, you should find [him][her] guilty of Robbery By Sudden Snatching with a firearm.
Scumbag Patrick started snatching phones after a friend told him about the scam.
Yamasaki began snatching bags around fall 2000 and quit his job as a driver after he met with success in the criminal enterprise, they said.
In 8,886 cases of crime against property, 24 were of dacoity, 1,836 of robbery, 10 of car-snatching, 437 of car-lifting, 199 of motorcycle-lifting, 3,818 of motorcycle-lifting, five of other vehicle snatching, 281 of other vehicle lifting and 2,224 of burglary.
Following his directions, SP investigation Mohammad Hassan Iqbal constituted a specialized team to nab criminals involved in street crime and snatching.
THE HARYANA government on Monday made amendments to the IPC and the CrPC to declare snatching a non- bailable offence.
A senior officer with the Criminal Investigation and Research Department said that in the early months of last year, the police nabbed seven men who allegedly stole gold ornaments, expensive watches and jewellery worth Dh500,000 by snatching bags from women, jewellers and bank clients after distracting the victims with a ploy of helping them with their cars.
The country's major cities like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and many others have already faced many problems but snatching mobile phones on the rise day by day added the misery of general public.
In Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, meanwhile, the police said they arrested a 20-year-old man on Tuesday on suspicion of snatching a handbag from a woman on a bicycle.
A fresh wave of cell phone snatching has deprived more than 1,500 citizens of their mobiles.
ISLAMABAD -- In view of spurt in incidents of weapon snatching, Indian police in occupied Kashmir have decided to install computer chips in firearms to trace the snatchers.
Of late, robbery, theft, dacoity and bike lifting / snatching incidents in the area have increased.
Operating as a strong criminals mafia, the criminals thrive on vehicle lifting, car and motorbike, mobile phone snatching, jewellery, cash and mobile snatching, through, even vengeful killings, abductions for ransom, land grabbing also continue unabated.