the abrupt, harsh, explosive cry of a dog.
a similar sound made by another animal, as a fox.
a short, explosive sound, as of firearms: the bark of a revolver.
a brusque order, reply, etc.: The foreman's bark sent the idlers back to their machines.
(of a dog or other animal) to utter an abrupt, explosive cry or a series of such cries.
to make a similar sound: The big guns barked.
to speak or cry out sharply or gruffly: a man who barks at his children.
Informal. to advertise a theater performance, carnival sideshow, or the like, by standing at the entrance and calling out to passersby.
to utter in a harsh, shouting tone: barking orders at her subordinates.
Idioms about bark
bark at the moon, to protest in vain: Telling her that she's misinformed is just barking at the moon.
bark up the wrong tree, to assail or pursue the wrong person or object; misdirect one's efforts: If he expects me to get him a job, he's barking up the wrong tree.
- barkless, adjective
Other definitions for bark (2 of 3)
the external covering of the woody stems, branches, and roots of plants, as distinct and separable from the wood itself.
Tanning. a mixture of oak and hemlock barks.
candy, usually of chocolate with large pieces of nuts, made in flat sheets.
- barkless, adjective
Other definitions for bark (3 of 3)
Nautical. a sailing vessel having three or more masts, square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast, which is fore-and-aft-rigged.
Literary. a boat or sailing vessel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bark in a sentence
This song is specifically for the underdogs whose bark is as big as their bite and want to prove they’re number one on the block.Busta Rhymes’ Teaches the Art of Bragging in This Week’s The Playlist | cmurray | December 4, 2020 | Essence.com
Pine needles and conesThis common needle-bearing tree can provide tea and an edible inner bark.
Low-severity embers can ramp up a tree’s response such that it’s better equipped to fight back bark beetles, native parasites than can devastate entire stands of conifers when the trees are already weakened by forces like drought.
Prior to a jumping worm invasion, the soft layer of decomposing leaves, bark and sticks covering the forest floor might be more than a dozen centimeters thick.Invasive jumping worms damage U.S. soil and threaten forests | Megan Sever | September 29, 2020 | Science News
Cotton balls, drier lint, curls of birch bark, and even greasy snack chips can turn the small flame of a match into the roaring flame of a campfire.
A neighborhood dog had begun to bark, and they were worried about the police coming.
The wire is long gone, but a rusted snag remains entombed in the bark.How the Kings of Fracking Double-Crossed Their Way to Riches | ProPublica | March 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Rock reportedly coined the phrase, “Cows moo, dogs bark, Labour puts up taxes.”British Prime Minister’s Child Porn Adviser Arrested Over Child Porn | Tim Teeman | March 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“Impossible,” began the other, but was silenced by a sort of bark from Mr. Wilde.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show | Robert W. Chambers | February 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It all boils down to scratching your name in the bark of a tree.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview | Alex Belth | February 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A primitive savage makes a bow and arrow in a day: it takes him a fortnight to make a bark canoe.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
As I came near the house, the dogs began to bark, just as I discovered my horse tied to a tree.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
Suddenly the spaniel leapt up with that feverish, spider-like activity of the toy species and began to bark.Dope | Sax Rohmer
The dog gave a short bark, and looked to the front, as if to say, "Look out—trouble ahead."The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
So with a fearful growl, and a bark that might have frightened a lion, Bravo made a leap and a spring after poor little Downy.The Nursery, July 1873, Vol. XIV. No. 1 | Various
British Dictionary definitions for bark (1 of 3)
the loud abrupt usually harsh or gruff cry of a dog or any of certain other animals
a similar sound, such as one made by a person, gun, etc
his bark is worse than his bite he is bad-tempered but harmless
(intr) (of a dog or any of certain other animals) to make its typical loud abrupt cry
(intr) (of a person, gun, etc) to make a similar loud harsh sound
to say or shout in a brusque, peremptory, or angry tone: he barked an order
US informal to advertise (a show, merchandise, etc) by loudly addressing passers-by
bark up the wrong tree informal to misdirect one's attention, efforts, etc; be mistaken
British Dictionary definitions for bark (2 of 3)
a protective layer of dead corky cells on the outside of the stems of woody plants
any of several varieties of this substance that can be used in tanning, dyeing, or in medicine
to scrape or rub off skin, as in an injury
to remove the bark or a circle of bark from (a tree or log)
to cover or enclose with bark
to tan (leather), principally by the tannins in barks
British Dictionary definitions for bark (3 of 3)
a variant spelling (esp US) of barque
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for bark
The protective outer covering of the trunk, branches, and roots of trees and other woody plants. Bark includes all tissues outside the vascular cambium. In older trees, bark is usually divided into inner bark, consisting of living phloem, and outer bark, consisting of the periderm (the phelloderm, cork cambium, and cork) and all the tissues outside it. The outer bark is mainly dead tissue that protects the tree from heat, cold, insects, and other dangers. The appearance of bark varies according to the manner in which the periderm forms, as in broken layers or smoother rings. Bark also has lenticels, porous corky areas that allow for the exchange of water vapor and gases with the interior living tissues.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with bark
In addition to the idioms beginning with bark
- bark is worse than his bite
- bark up the wrong tree
- talk one's arm off (the bark off a tree)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.