- to growl threateningly or viciously, especially with a raised upper lip to bare the teeth, as a dog.
- to speak in a surly or threatening manner suggestive of a dog's snarl.
- to say by snarling: to snarl a threat.
- the act of snarling.
- a snarling sound or utterance.
Origin of snarl1
- a tangle, as of thread, hair, or wire.
- a complicated or confused condition or matter: a traffic snarl.
- a knot in wood.
- to bring into a tangled condition, as thread or hair.
- to render complicated or confused: The questions snarled him up.
- to raise or emboss, as parts of a thin metal vessel, by hammering on a tool (snarling iron) held against the inner surface of the vessel.
- to become tangled; get into a tangle.
Origin of snarl2
Related Words for snarlmorass, growl, bark, mutter, entangle, tangle, web, skein, entanglement, intricacy, labyrinth, confusion, disarray, mishmash, muddle, chaos, swarm, complexity, jam, clutter
Examples from the Web for snarl
Contemporary Examples of snarl
Alastair Sim had jowls like melting candle wax, a snarl like a cornered cat and eyes cold with contempt.How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas
December 22, 2014
And conservatives in Nevada are looking for the kind of snarl that the smiling Sandoval may not be able to deliver.Could This Be the First Pro-Choice Republican on a National Ticket?
November 20, 2014
The delays would cause chaos and snarl traffic at checkpoints, frustrate orderly schedules, and make tempers short.Iraqi Insurgents Circulate the Lie That They Killed the Judge in Saddam’s Trial
June 28, 2014
Happy Huckabee seems to be gone, the smile replaced by a snarl.Happy Huckabee Gets Mad
May 6, 2014
Some people know Curtis through his passion as an Elvis impersonator, including a snarl and long sideburns.The Mississippi Man Caught Mailing Ricin-Letters is an Elvis Impersonator
April 18, 2013
Historical Examples of snarl
There was a snarl; Jeff had Joe by the throat, and Joe was reaching for his gun.Way of the Lawless
It was like the mingled roar of a lion and the snarl of a tiger.Frank Roscoe's Secret
He continued to gaze, and in his interest he forgot to snarl.
He did not snarl at her, nor show his teeth, when any leap of hers chanced to put her in advance of him.
He gave no warning, with no snarl anticipated his own action.
- (intr) (of an animal) to growl viciously, baring the teeth
- to speak or express (something) viciously or angrily
- a vicious growl, utterance, or facial expression
- the act of snarling
Word Origin for snarl
- a tangled mass of thread, hair, etc
- a complicated or confused state or situation
- a knot in wood
- (often foll by up) to be, become, or make tangled or complicated
- (tr often foll by up) to confuse mentally
- (tr) to flute or emboss (metal) by hammering on a tool held against the under surface
Word Origin for snarl
"growl and bare the teeth," 1580s, perhaps from Dutch or Low German snarren "to rattle," probably of imitative origin (cf. German schnarren "to rattle," schnurren "to hum, buzz"). Meaning "speak in a harsh manner" first recorded 1690s. Related: Snarled; snarling.
"to tangle, to catch in a snare or noose" (trans.), late 14c., from a noun snarl "a snare, a noose" (late 14c.), probably a diminutive of snare (n.1). Intransitive sense "become twisted or entangled" is from c.1600. Related: Snarled; snarling.
"a sharp growl accompanied by a display of the teeth," 1610s, from snarl (v.2).
late 14c., "a snare, noose," from snarl (v.1). Meaning "a tangle, a knot" is first attested c.1600. Meaning "a traffic jam" is from 1933.