bark1 /bɑːk/


I. noun

1. the sharp explosive cry of a dog, fox, or seal.
2. a sound resembling a bark, typically one made by someone laughing or coughing

a short bark of laughter.
II. verb

1. [no obj.] (of a dog, fox, or seal) give a bark.

a dog barked at her.
2. (of a person) make a sound resembling a bark

she barked with laughter.
3. [with obj.] utter (a command or question) abruptly or aggressively

he began barking out his orders
[with direct speech]
‘Nobody is allowed up here,’ he barked.
4. [no obj.]
(US) call out in order to sell or advertise something.

doormen bark at passers-by, promising hot girls and cold beer.
III. phrases

1. someone’s bark is worse than their bite
someone’s fierce and intimidating manner does not reflect their true nature.

don’t worry, her bark is worse than her bite.
2. be barking up the wrong tree

‹informal› be pursuing a mistaken or misguided line of thought or course of action.

his wife thinks he’s under suspicion, but I’m sure she’s barking up the wrong tree.
– origin Old English beorc (noun), beorcan (verb), of Germanic origin; possibly related to break1.

Add Comment

By Oxford


Get in touch

Quickly communicate covalent niche markets for maintainable sources. Collaboratively harness resource sucking experiences whereas cost effective meta-services.