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squib

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n squib firework consisting of a tube filled with powder (as a broken firecracker) that burns with a fizzing noise
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Squib (Mining) A kind of slow match or safety fuse.
    • Squib A little pipe, or hollow cylinder of paper, filled with powder or combustible matter, to be thrown into the air while burning, so as to burst there with a crack. "Lampoons, like squibs, may make a present blaze.""The making and selling of fireworks, and squibs . . . is punishable."
    • Squib A paltry fellow.
    • Squib A sarcastic speech or publication; a petty lampoon; a brief, witty essay. "Who copied his squibs, and reëchoed his jokes."
    • Squib A writer of lampoons. "The squibs are those who in the common phrase of the world are called libelers, lampooners, and pamphleteers."
    • v. i Squib To throw squibs; to utter sarcastic or severe reflections; to contend in petty dispute; as, to squib a little in debate.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • squib To move swiftly and irregularly.
    • squib To make a slight, sharp report, like that of an exploding squib.
    • squib To resort to the use of squibs, or petty lampoons.
    • squib To throw (in or out) suddenly; explode.
    • squib To attack in squibs; lampoon.
    • n squib A ball or tube filled with gunpowder, sent or fired swiftly through the air or along the ground, exploding somewhat like a rocket.
    • n squib A reed, rush, quill, or roll of paper filled with a priming of gunpowder; a tube of some kind used to set off a charge of gunpowder, as at the bottom of a drill-hole. Also called mote, train, and match.
    • n squib A fire-cracker, especially one broken in the middle so that when it is fired the charge explodes without a loud report.
    • n squib A petty lampoon; a short satirical writing or sketch holding up a person or thing to ridicule.
    • n squib One who writes lampoons or squibs; a petty satirist; a paltry, trifling fellow.
    • n squib A kind of cheap taffy, made of treacle.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Squib skwib a paper tube filled with combustibles, thrown up into the air burning and bursting: a petty lampoon
    • v.t Squib to aim squibs at: to lampoon
    • v.i Squib to write lampoons: to use squibs: to sound like a squib exploding
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Idioms

Damp squib - (UK) If something is expected to have a great effect or impact but doesn't, it is a damp squib.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. squippen, swippen, to move swiftly, Icel. svipa, to swoop, flash, dart, whip; akin to AS. swipian, to whip, and E. swift, a. See Swift (a.)

Usage

In literature:

Our artillery put salvoes at once upon those trenches; and the raid of that night proved a damp squib.
"With the British Army in The Holy Land" by Henry Osmond Lock
It is even said that Lord Squib was sentimental; but this must have been the malice of Charles Annesley.
"The Young Duke" by Benjamin Disraeli
We used a 'go-devil-squib.
"The Moving Picture Girls at Rocky Ranch" by Laura Lee Hope
At Bonvillers, on the 21st, 23d, and 25th of August, twenty-six houses were set on fire by the Germans, who made use of squibs and candles.
"Current History, A Monthly Magazine" by New York Times
The sentries squibbed off their rifles, and then, reloading, began to blaze away into the Chilian encampment.
"Under the Chilian Flag" by Harry Collingwood
In the Library of the British Museum there is an extremely interesting collection of squibs!
"Fragments of Two Centuries" by Alfred Kingston
He never went into society without providing himself with a store of these pocket squibs.
"The Immortal" by Alphonse Daudet
I will not deny that I have written for the papers myself some little squibs.
"Wilmot and Tilley" by James Hannay
You might as well throw squibs into a cage full of tigers.
"Pan-Islam" by George Wyman Bury
And now there ensued such a war of pamphlets, broadsides, caricatures, squibs, and stump-speeches, as had never yet been seen in America.
"The Critical Period of American History" by John Fiske
In various forms this ridiculous accusation enlivens the squibs of the pamphleteers of Queen Anne's reign.
"A Book About Lawyers" by John Cordy Jeaffreson
You remind me of a damp squib, all fuss and no result.
"Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate" by Charles Turley
A common squib or a real explosion?
"Nan of Music Mountain" by Frank H. Spearman
Here, for instance, I have a squib.
"The Story of a Tinder-box" by Charles Meymott Tidy
Comings and goings, cries, exclamations, laughter, squibs that had been slow in going off, and firecrackers increased the tumult.
"Friars and Filipinos" by Jose Rizal
I have given a child a squib.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
A bloodless war of squibs, broadsides, pamphlets, and frenzied oratory was waged everywhere.
"Hero Stories from American History" by Albert F. Blaisdell
I'm off, as the squib said to the match when it started blowin' of him up.
"Cleek of Scotland Yard" by Thomas W. Hanshew
The squib had long burnt out by the time we got there; but the sight that met our astonished gaze was magnificent.
"A Veldt Official" by Bertram Mitford
Not content with shooting him dead, he squibbed off his revolver into him as he lay.
"From Sea to Sea" by Rudyard Kipling
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In poetry:

As well I might a hornet fear,
When the arm'd porcupine is near;
Or from a hissing squib retire,
When lightnings set the heavens on fire.
"To A Gentleman: Sitting Next to a Young Lady presents a Pop-Gun to the Author" by Samuel Bowden
A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.
"The Grave of the Hundred Heads" by Rudyard Kipling

In news:

President Obama's lack of political vision will make his trip a damp squib.
Donald Trump's attempt at an October surprise the other day may have been a damp squib but now a real firecracker has been thrown into the presidential race.
After the latest post-election thrill ride, which has involved cuts, coalitions and the 1922 committee, the Labour leadership contest is proving to be something of a damp squib by comparison.
Squib was a retired coal miner at North American Coal Company's 3 mine at Powhatan Point, OH, a Methodist by faith and a member of UMWA, VFW Post 626, and a WWII US Army Air Corp Veteran.
PERSINGER, Arch "Squib," 93, died Tuesday.
The very first play served as an omen of what was to come when Jeff Malloney kicked a squib that the Cougars recovered on the Spartans 48.
A few months back in this space I squibbed a series of blog entries on what I dubbed the "Freelance Economy".
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In science:

The purpose of this squib is to strengthen the standard pumping lemma for the class of regular tree languages (G´ecseg and Steinby, 1997), without sacrificing its usability, in the same way as Ogden strengthened the pumping lemma for context-free string languages (Ogden, 1968).
Ogden's Lemma for Regular Tree Languages
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