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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 ?
Police quoted that the accused said that the snatching or stealing a government vehicle is an easy task because such vehicles do not have trackers and it would be easy to move the car from one place to other place after replacing the number plate.
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.
In order for a taking to be Robbery By Sudden Snatching, it is not necessary that the person robbed be the actual owner of the property.
Similar snatching cases had occurred frequently in central and southern Osaka, but since Yamasaki's arrest, they fell sharply in some areas.
Besides, they would encourage the victims of mobile phone snatchings to inform the CPLC about IMEI numbers to discard such snatched/stolen phones.
Also, by paragraph 3 above snatching of ballot box could amount to an act of insurrection.
Police have termed the period between 7pm and 11pm as the peak hours during which most of the cellphone snatching incidents take place.
According to reports Snatching of mobile phones and theft of motorbikes increased during the last year which was counted as peaceful of the previous years.
"The offence of snatching and snatching with hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of hurt will now be a non- bailable offence in the state.
Growing incidents of mobile phone snatching is quite alarming; no recoveries are mentioned in the report presented by CPLC that is surprisingly unpleasant.
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.
RAWALPINDI -- A labourer was shot dead by three gunmen during mobile phone and purse snatching near Ganjmandi police station on Thursday night, raising the people killed during armed robberies to six this year.
ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for TV anchor Shahid Masood in a case pertaining to snatching of journalist's cell phone.
KARACHI -- Police's Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) on Monday claimed to have arrested at least three suspects in a case pertaining to snatching and theft of government vehicles in Karachi.
The accused had snatched 150 vehicles so far, they were involved in vehicles snatching and stealing incidents in Gulistan-e-Johar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, F.B.