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See also: Snark and snȧrk



  • enPR: snärk, IPA(key): /snɑː(ɹ)k/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)k

Etymology 1[edit]

Noun sense “snide remark” as back-formation from snarky (1906), from obsolete snark (to snore, snort, verb) (1866), from Middle English snarken (to snore). Compare Low German snarken, North Frisian snarke, Swedish snarka, and English snort, and snore.[1] Of Germanic origin, but ultimately onomatopoeic.


snark (uncountable)

  1. Snide remarks or attitude.
    Synonyms: sarcasm, snideness
    • 2010, David Denby, Snark, Pan Macmillan (→ISBN), page 4:
      Snark will get you any way it can, fore and aft, and to hell with consistency. In a media society, snark is an easy way of seeming smart. [] Snark doesn't create a new image, a new idea. It's parasitic, referential, insinuating.
    • 2017, Dean Koontz, The Silent Corner, page 54:
      She liked his smile. There was neither snark nor megalomania in it, as characterized so many smiles these days.
Related terms[edit]


snark (third-person singular simple present snarks, present participle snarking, simple past and past participle snarked)

  1. To express oneself in a snarky fashion.
    • 2009 January 23, Dwight Garner, “The Mahvelous and the Damned”, in New York Times[1]:
      Other would-be Bright Young People, Lytton Strachey snarked, seemed to have “just a few feathers where brains should be.”
    • 2018, Maria Maggenti, Daniel Beaty, “Fallout”, in Supergirl, season 4, episode 2, spoken by Querl Dox (Jesse Rath):
      Ah! That was "snark". You snark when your blood sugar is low. I know how to help you. Pizza. Humans seem to find calm in the consumption of food.
  2. (obsolete) To snort.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


From Snark, coined by Lewis Carroll as a nonce word in The Hunting of the Snark (1874), about the quest for an elusive creature. In sense of “a type of mathematical graph”, named as such in 1976 by Martin Gardner for their elusiveness.[2]


snark (plural snarks)

  1. (mathematics) A graph in which every node has three branches, and the edges cannot be coloured in fewer than four colours without two edges of the same colour meeting at a point.
  2. (physics) A fluke or unrepeatable result or detection in an experiment.
    Cabrera's Valentine's Day monopole detection or some extremely energetic cosmic rays could be examples of snarks.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “snarky”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ Martin Gardner, (1976). Mathematical Games. Scientific American, volume 4, issue 234, pages 126–130.





snark n (genitive singular snarks, no plural)

  1. crackle (of a fire)


Related terms[edit]



From snórk. Cognate with Smalandian snarke m, Helsingian snárse, snarkse m, snarka f, Norwegian snerkje m.


snark m (nominative & accusative definite singular snarken)

  1. Skin, wrinkled skin-film which forms on porridge and gruel.
  2. Cream.

Alternative forms[edit]