Squib

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squib

1. 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. (waller) The making and selling of fireworks, and squibs . . . Is punishable. (Blackstone)

2. (Science: chemical) A kind of slow match or safety fuse.

3. A sarcastic speech or publication; a petty lampoon; a brief, witty essay. Who copied his squibs, and reechoed his jokes. (goldsmith)

4. A writer of lampoons. The squibs are those who in the common phrase of the world are called libelers, lampooners, and pamphleteers. (Tatler)

5. A paltry fellow.

Origin: OE. Squippen, swippen, to move swiftky, Icel. Svipa to swoop, flash, dart, whip; akin to AS. Swipian to whip, and E. Swift, a. See Swift.