snarl

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈsnɑː(ɹ)l/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(r)l

Etymology 1[edit]

Late 14th century. 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
    • (Can we date this quote by Edmund Spenser and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      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.
    • November 9, 1550, Hugh Latimer, Sermon Preached at Stanford
      [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.
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The biggest cities feel the most acute impact of the last mile – of the squads of trucks and vans, the parcel hubs and sorting centres, the parking snarls and the discarded boxes.

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.
    • 1697, “Preface”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      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.

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Further reading[edit]

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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]