snarl

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Late 14thc. From Middle English snarlen, frequentative of snaren (to trap, tangle). Equivalent to snare +‎ -le.

Verb[edit]

snarl (third-person singular simple present snarls, present participle snarling, simple past and past participle snarled)

  1. (transitive) To entangle; to complicate; to involve in knots.
    to snarl a skein of thread
    • Edmund Spenser
      And from her back her garments she did tear, / And from her head oft rent her snarled hair []
  2. (intransitive) To become entangled.
  3. (transitive) To place in an embarrassing situation; to ensnare; to make overly complicated.
    • Latimer
      [the] question that they would have snarled him with
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To be congested in traffic, or to make traffic congested.
  5. To form raised work upon the outer surface of (thin metal ware) by the repercussion of a snarling iron upon the inner surface.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

snarl (plural snarls)

  1. A knot or complication of hair, thread, or the like, difficult to disentangle.
    Synonym: entanglement
  2. An intricate complication; a problematic difficulty; a knotty or tangled situation.
  3. A slow-moving traffic jam.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Late 16thc. Frequentative of earlier snar (to growl), perhaps from Middle Low German snorren (to drone), of probably imitative origin. Related to German schnarren (to rattle) and schnurren (to hum, buzz).

Verb[edit]

snarl (third-person singular simple present snarls, present participle snarling, simple past and past participle snarled)

  1. (intransitive) To growl angrily by gnashing or baring the teeth; to gnarl; to utter grumbling sounds.
  2. (transitive) To complain angrily; to utter growlingly.
  3. (intransitive) To speak crossly; to talk in rude, surly terms.
    • Dryden
      It is malicious and unmanly to snarl at the little lapses of a pen, from which Virgil himself stands not exempted.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

snarl (plural snarls)

A sphynx snarls at a dog.


  1. The act of snarling; a growl; a surly or peevish expression; an angry contention.
  2. A growl, for example that of an angry or surly dog, or similar; grumbling sounds.
  3. A squabble.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Icelandic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from snarla.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

snarl n (genitive singular snarls, no plural)

  1. snack (light meal)

Declension[edit]

See also[edit]