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snipe hunt

1. A practical joke in which the victim is sent on a hunt for a fictitious animal called a snipe. When I was in the Cub Scouts, the youngest members were always sent out on a snipe hunt by the counselors on the night of our first big campout.
2. By extension, any hunt, search, or quest for something that is fictitious, non-existent, elusive, or illusory. The president has pledged to make universal healthcare a reality, but I think he's really just on a snipe hunt.
See also: hunt, snipe

snipe at (someone or something)

1. To shoot at someone or something from a concealed or distant position. We should avoid the main streets, as it will give the insurgents too much opportunity to snipe at us from the high buildings. I was able to snipe at the convoy from nearly 3,000 meters away.
2. To direct snide, petulant, or malicious criticisms toward someone or something. He's so two-faced, acting all buddy-buddy with people in the office and then sniping at them when they're out of earshot. You ought to offer some practical solutions, rather than spending the entire meeting just sniping at our proposals.
See also: snipe

snipe at someone or something

1. Lit. to fire a weapon at someone or something from a concealed position. Someone with a rifle sniped at the troops as they went through the jungle. A rifleman was busy sniping at the platoon.
2. Fig. to make petty complaints attacking someone or something. Stop sniping at me and everything I do. Ken is always sniping at my reports.
See also: snipe


n. a cigarette or cigar butt. Down on skid row, a snipe won’t be on the sidewalk for ten seconds.
References in periodicals archive ?
If the shooter's position is marked and a landmark, even a distant one, in line with where the snipe fell is selected, the times when a bird is maddeningly difficult to find can be made easier by narrowing the search area.
When a snipe dives, it splays the outside tail feathers nearly perpendicular to its body.
In carrying out the vision for the Snipe family, Jones-Snipe became a part-time worker following the birth of their son, Bradley.
A total of 21 days and 80 days of opportunity were afforded waterfowl and snipe hunters, respectively, during this study, which included 4 hunting seasons, 1991-1995.
Evaluation of the great snipe population to enable the establishment of habitat preferences and for the precise selection of areas for project implementation;
Together, 21 years ago, The Snipe and Webber beat Zongalero and Bachelor's Hall in Cheltenham's Massey-Ferguson Gold Cup.
The difference between the Super Snipe and the Hawk was that the Snipe boasted a six-cylinder engine and the Hawk did reasonably well on four.
Since 1982, 60 per cent of snipe, 40 per cent of lapwing and curlew and 20 per cent of redshank have disappeared.
Snipe spend most of their time feeding, drilling their seven-centimetre beaks into soft ground like a sewing machine.
Snipes has especially enjoyed planning events such as the annual Que on the Yazoo held each May.
Summary: New Delhi [India], August 11 (ANI): Hollywood veteran Wesley Snipes has revealed that he battled Prince to get a key role in Michael Jackson's 'Bad' video.
Notes: All bid questions must be submitted in writing to Greg Snipes at email greg-snipes@uiowa.
Wesley Snipes was reportedly served with legal papers relating to his tax evasion case during the premiere of "The Expendables 3" in Hollywood last week.
LEWIS RUN -- Wesley Snipes has been released from a federal prison in Pennsylvania.
Gary Lee Snipes, 63, passed away suddenly at home March 7.