1. Watery particles congealed into white or transparent crystals or flakes in the air, and falling to the earth, exhibiting a great variety of very beautiful and perfect forms.

Snow is often used to form compounds, most of which are of obvious meaning; as, snow-capped, snow-clad, snow-cold, snow-crowned, snow-crust, snow-fed, snow-haired, snowlike, snow-mantled, snow-nodding, snow-wrought, and the like.

2. Something white like snow, as the white colour (argent) in heraldry; something which falls in, or as in, flakes. "The field of snow with eagle of black therein." (Chaucer) Red snow. See Red. Snow bunting.

<zoology> A small black leaping poduran (Achorutes nivicola) often found in winter on the snow in vast numbers. Snow flood, a flood from melted snow.

<botany> Snow flower, a fleshy parasitic herb (Sarcodes sanguinea) growing in the coniferous forests of California. It is all of a bright red colour, and is fabled to grow from the snow, through which it sometimes shoots up.

Origin: OE. Snow, snaw, AS. Snaw; akin to D. Sneeuw, OS. & OHG. Sneo, G. Schnee, Icel. Snaer, snjor, snajar, Sw. Sno, Dan. Snee, Goth. Snaiws, Lith. Snegas, Russ. Snieg', Ir. & Gael. Sneachd, W. Nyf, L. Nix, nivis, Gr. Acc. Nifa, also AS. Sniwan to snow, G. Schneien, OHG. Sniwan, Lith. Snigti, L. Ningit it snows, Gr. Nifei, Zend snizh to snow; cf. Skr. Snih to be wet or sticky.

(01 Mar 1998)

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