a mysterious, imaginary animal.

Origin of snark

First recorded in 1876; coined by Lewis Carroll in his poem The Hunting of the Snark



verb (used without object)

to be critical in a rude or sarcastic way: to snark about the neighbors.


rude or sarcastic criticism.

Origin of snark

1910–15; dial. snark ‘to nag, find fault with’; apparently identical with snark, snork ‘to snort, snore’, probably < Dutch, Low German snorken ‘to snore’ Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snark

Contemporary Examples of snark

Historical Examples of snark

  • By the thirtieth time it has become a word like "snark" or "pobble."

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • "Well, I'm going to hunt up that lawyer, Snark," affirmed Drake finally.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • It's excessively awkward to mention it now,With the Snark, so to speak, at the door!

  • Don't call him the banker; it reminds me of The Hunting of the Snark.

    The Twelfth Hour

    Ada Leverson

  • As originally planned, the Snark was to be forty feet long on the water-line.

Word Origin and History for snark

imaginary animal, coined 1876 by Lewis Carroll in "The Hunting of the Snark." In 1950s, name of a type of U.S. cruise missile and in 1980s of a type of sailboat. Meaning "caustic, opinionated, critical rhetoric" is from c.2002 (see snarky) and not directly related, if at all.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper