In programming practice, "snippet" refers narrowly to a portion of source code that is literally included by an editor program into a file, and is a form of copy and paste programming. This concrete inclusion is in contrast to abstraction methods, such as functions or macros, which are abstraction within the language. Snippets are thus primarily used when these abstractions are not available or not desired, such as in languages that lack abstraction, or for clarity and absence of overhead.

Snippets are similar to having static preprocessing included in the editor, and do not require support by a compiler. On the flip side, this means that snippets cannot be invariably modified after the fact, and thus is vulnerable to all of the problems of copy and paste programming. For this reason snippets are primarily used for simple sections of code (with little logic), or for boilerplate, such as copyright notices, function prototypes, common control structures, or standard library imports.

wikipedia source