bark is worse than his bite

A person seems more hostile or aggressive than is the case, as in Dad sounds very grouchy in the morning, but his bark's worse than his bite. This phrase was a proverb by the mid-1600s.


Nearby words

  1. barium x-ray,
  2. barium yellow,
  3. bark,
  4. bark beetle,
  5. bark cloth,
  6. bark up the wrong tree,
  7. barkeep,
  8. barkeeper,
  9. barkentine,
  10. barker

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.