Ask Difference

Snitch vs. Narc — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 28, 2024
Both snitch and narc refer to informants, but a snitch typically informs out of self-interest or pressure, whereas a narc, often an undercover agent, informs as part of law enforcement duties.
Snitch vs. Narc — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Snitch and Narc


Key Differences

A snitch is someone who tells on others, often to gain personal advantage or avoid trouble, while a narc (short for narcotics officer) usually works within the police force, focusing on drug-related crimes.
Snitches might inform on any type of illegal or frowned-upon activity among peers or within an organization, whereas narcs specifically target drug offenses as part of their professional role.
The motivation behind a snitch’s actions often stems from personal gain or pressure from authorities, on the other hand, a narc operates as part of their job, driven by law enforcement objectives.
People generally view snitches with distrust and disfavor, viewing their actions as betrayals, while narcs are seen as fulfilling a critical role in law enforcement, despite sometimes being viewed negatively by those within criminal circles.
In media and popular culture, snitches are often portrayed as untrustworthy or weak, while narcs are depicted as tough and committed to their law enforcement mission, illustrating differing societal perceptions based on their roles and motivations.

Comparison Chart


Informant without legal status
Law enforcement officer

Primary Motivation

Personal gain, avoidance of punishment
Professional duty

Type of Crime Involved

Any crime
Drug-related crimes


Negative, viewed as betrayal
Mixed, seen as doing a necessary job

Cultural Representation

Often negative, depicted as cowardly
Often heroic or gritty, depicted as dedicated

Compare with Definitions


Used pejoratively to describe untrustworthy individuals.
Calling someone a snitch can severely damage their reputation.


Can sometimes be used derogatorily by criminals.
He was labeled a narc by the gang, although he was just a bystander.


Someone who secretly informs on others.
He became a snitch to reduce his own sentence.


Often seen heroically in films and TV shows.
The movie portrayed the narcs as heroes fighting against drug lords.


A person who betrays confidences for personal advantage.
The team regarded him as a snitch after he reported the misconduct.


Refers to agents specifically targeting drug crimes.
The narcs made an arrest after the sting operation.


Informally, a tattletale in everyday contexts.
No one likes a snitch, especially in grade school.


A narcotics officer, typically undercover.
The narc infiltrated the drug ring to gather evidence.


Can refer to someone who informs under pressure.
He was a reluctant snitch, forced to talk by the authorities.


Used to describe police officers in drug enforcement.
The community worked closely with the narcs to reduce drug-related activities.


He snitched the umbrella for when he went fishing
She was snitching a look out of the window


A law enforcement officer, usually one working undercover, who deals with narcotics violations.


Inform on someone
She wouldn't tell who snitched on me


An informer; a snitch.


An informer
They thought he was a plant or a snitch


To act as an informer; snitch.


To act as an informer
He snitched on his comrades.


A police officer or federal agent assigned to or engaging in illegal narcotics control.


To steal (something, usually something of little value); pilfer
Snitched a cookie from the counter.


Alternative spelling of nark


An informer.


A narcissist.


A thief.


Alternative spelling of nark


(intransitive) To inform on, especially in betrayal of others.


To suffer from impaired judgment due to nitrogen narcosis (for example, while scuba diving).


To contact or cooperate with the police for any reason.


A lawman concerned with narcotics violations


To steal, quickly and quietly.


(slang) A thief.


(slang) An informer, one who betrays his group.


A nose.


A tiny morsel.


A ball used in the sport of Quidditch.


Someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police


Take by theft;
Someone snitched my wallet!


Give away information about somebody;
He told on his classmate who had cheated on the exam

Common Curiosities

What is a narc?

A narc, often a narcotics officer, is a law enforcement official focused on combating drug-related crimes.

Is being a narc dangerous?

Being a narc, especially an undercover agent, can be highly dangerous due to the criminal elements involved.

What is a snitch?

A snitch is an individual who informs on others, typically to gain some advantage or avoid consequences.

Why might someone choose to be a snitch?

Individuals might snitch to avoid legal punishment, reduce their own sentences, or for personal benefits.

Can a snitch be part of law enforcement?

While snitches are usually civilians, they can sometimes be informants working with or for law enforcement.

Are all narcs undercover?

Many narcs work undercover, but not all narcotics officers operate in covert roles.

How are snitches viewed by society?

Snitches are often viewed negatively, seen as betraying trust for personal gain.

Can a narc also be considered a snitch?

Typically not, as narcs are official agents acting within their professional capacity, not informants reporting secretly.

How do movies typically portray narcs and snitches?

Narcs are often portrayed as heroic or tough, while snitches are usually shown as weak or duplicitous.

Can anyone be a snitch?

Anyone who provides information on others can be considered a snitch, regardless of their background.

What roles do narcs play in law enforcement?

Narcs primarily investigate and help prosecute drug-related offenses.

What is the main difference in motivation between a snitch and a narc?

A snitch is motivated by personal reasons, such as fear or gain, whereas a narc's motivation is professional duty.

What is the legal protection for narcs compared to snitches?

Narcs, as law enforcement officers, generally have more institutional and legal protection than civilian snitches.

What might motivate a narc to take risks?

Professional commitment and the drive to uphold the law are primary motivations for narcs taking risks.

Is the term 'narc' ever used in a non-derogatory sense?

Yes, within law enforcement and the public, 'narc' can be used non-derogatorily to describe someone dedicated to controlling illegal drugs.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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