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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
robbing the cradleAMERICAN
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.
To attempt to grasp or seize something by grabbing at it suddenly: The police officer snatched at the gun in the robber's hand.