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

  • I had no longer any control of the Snark, nor of her wonderful bow.

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