- 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.
- a cough.
- (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 cough.
- to utter in a harsh, shouting tone: barking orders at her subordinates.
- 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.
Origin of bark1
Synonyms for barkSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
- to rub off or scrape the skin of, as by bumping into something: to bark one's shins.
- to remove a circle of bark from; girdle.
- to cover, enclose, or encrust with or as if with bark.
- to treat with a bark infusion; tan.
- to strip the bark from; peel.
Origin of bark2
- 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.
Origin of bark3
Related Words for barkhusk, crust, skin, growl, cry, snarl, yap, howl, grumble, roar, mutter, yell, clamor, case, casing, shell, cortex, coat, rind, peeling
Examples from the Web for bark
Contemporary Examples of bark
A neighborhood dog had begun to bark, and they were worried about the police coming.The Stacks: The Judas Priest Teen Suicide Trial
June 28, 2014
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
March 13, 2014
“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
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
February 16, 2014
The needles of the yew tree can kill you, but the bark is important for many modern drugs.This Exhibit Could Kill You: The Museum of Natural History Takes on Poison
January 8, 2014
Historical Examples of bark
That it is one tree seems to be evident from the growth of the bark only on the outside.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
I made the sign of friendship and set food before her, and water in a cup of bark.
He stuffed his pipe again with fine tobacco and bark of red willow and began.
The bark is jagged by the slashes of venomous chassepot bullets.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
The vessel was an English bark, full of soldiers, bound to New Brunswick.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
- 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 tonehe 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
Word Origin for bark
- 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
- an informal name for cinchona
- 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
Word Origin for bark
- a variant spelling (esp US) of barque
"any small ship," early 15c., from Middle French barque (15c.), from Late Latin barca (c.400 C.E.), probably cognate with Vulgar Latin *barica (see barge). More precise sense of "three-masted ship" (17c.) often is spelled barque to distinguish it.
in reference to a dog sound, Old English beorcan "to bark," from Proto-Germanic *berkanan (cf. Old Norse berkja "to bark"), of echoic origin. Related: Barked; barking. To bark up the wrong tree is U.S. colloquial, first attested 1832, from notion of hounds following the wrong scent.
dog sound, Old English beorc, from bark (v.). Paired and compared with bite (n.) since at least 1660s; the proverb is older: "Timid dogs bark worse than they bite" was in Latin (Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet, Quintius Curtius).
- 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.
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)