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The title is an analogy appeared in the GRE verbal test, and I yet can't find the analogy in it.

"Snatch" means to "take" hastily or eagerly, but I don't see if "supplant" is a more hasty motion than "replace". Actually, I think to supplant is no different than to replace. Is that true?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

"Snatch" you have already defined as "to seize by a sudden or hasty grasp"

"Supplant" is similar to 'replace', but has a nuance that "replace" doesn't have:

to take the place of (another), as through force, scheming, strategy, or the like.

"Supplant" has a connotation that the exchange has happened via deceit or scheming.

"Replace" doesn't necessarily have this nuance, as we can "replace the bus stop with a shop" or "Replace the e with the i" and other like sentences, where no "scheming, or strategy" is used.

"Take" is the most general form of all these, and all the previous three describe some action of "taking", all in different ways and means.

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+1 because I'm pretty sure that's what the GRE folks were thinking. Personally, I don't think "supplant" is typically used that way, and I would have had the same trouble as the OQ. It seems the GRE folks are reading different stuff than we are. –  T.E.D. Aug 31 '11 at 13:26

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