General English


  • noun atmospheric water vapour frozen into ice crystals and falling to earth as white flakes


  • noun interference displayed as flickering white flecks on a monitor


  • On a display screen, such as that of a TV or radar, an unwanted pattern resembling a heavy snow storm. Such a pattern covers the entire viewing area, may be due to random noise, and is seen when a signal is absent or too weak to overcome said noise.


  • A mixture of sweetened puréed fruit and egg white whisked to a peak. Used as a dessert either as a topping or served on its own with biscuits or sponge fingers.


  • noun flakes of crystallized ice, which fall from the sky


  • noun cocaine. The white crystalline drug resembles snow and its anaesthetic effect numbs like cold. The slang term dates from the turn of the 20th century. (‘Snowbird’ and ‘snowball’ were elaborations used in some circles.).
  • noun a nickname for a blond male, usually used pejoratively
  • verb to fool, cheat, bamboozle, especially by overloading someone with information. This Americanism (now occasionally heard in Britain) is based on the notion of ‘snowing someone under’ in order to deceive or manipulate them. It may also have originally evoked a ‘snowstorm’ of documentation.

Origin & History of “snow”

Snow is an ancient word, with relatives throughout the Indo-European languages. Its ultimate ancestor was Indo-European *snigwh- or *snoigwho-. this also produced Latin nix (source of French neige, Italian neve, and Spanish nieve), obsolete Welsh nyf, Russian sneg, Czech snóh, Latvian sniegs, etc. Its prehistoric Germanic descendant was *snaiwaz, which has evolved into German schnee, Dutch sneeuw, Swedish snö, Danish sne, and English snow.