Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tangled mass, as of hair or yarn.
  • noun A confused, complicated, or tangled situation.
  • intransitive verb To become tangled or confused.
  • intransitive verb To tangle or knot (hair, for example).
  • intransitive verb To confuse or complicate.
  • intransitive verb To growl viciously while baring the teeth.
  • intransitive verb To speak angrily or threateningly.
  • intransitive verb To utter with anger or hostility.
  • noun A vicious growl.
  • noun A vicious, hostile utterance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To entangle; complicate; involve in knots: as, to snarl a skein of thread.
  • To embarrass; confuse; entangle.
  • To shape or ornament the exterior of (vessels of thin metal) by repercussion from within. See snarling-iron.
  • To make tangles or snarls; also, to become entangled.
  • To growl sharply, as an angry or surly dog; gnarl.
  • Figuratively, to speak in a sharp and quarrelsome or faultfinding way; talk rudely or churlishly; snap.
  • To utter with a snarl: as, to snarl one's discontent; to snarl out an oath.
  • noun A sharp growl; also, a jealous, quarrelsome, or faultfinding utterance, like the snarling of a dog or a wolf.
  • noun A snare; any knot or complication of hair, thread, etc., which it is difficult to disentangle; also, a group of things resembling, in entanglement, such a knot: as, a snarl of yachts.
  • noun Figuratively, complication; intricacy; embarrassing condition: as, to get the negotiation into a snarl.
  • noun A vexatious controversy; a squabble. This sense may have been affected by snarl.
  • noun A knot in wood; a gnarl.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To form raised work upon the outer surface of (thin metal ware) by the repercussion of a snarling iron upon the inner surface.
  • intransitive verb To growl, as an angry or surly dog; to gnarl; to utter grumbling sounds.
  • intransitive verb To speak crossly; to talk in rude, surly terms.
  • transitive verb To entangle; to complicate; to involve in knots.
  • transitive verb To embarrass; to insnare.
  • noun The act of snarling; a growl; a surly or peevish expression; an angry contention.
  • noun A knot or complication of hair, thread, or the like, difficult to disentangle; entanglement; hence, intricate complication; embarrassing difficulty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A knot or complication of hair, thread, or the like, difficult to disentangle; entanglement; hence, intricate complication; embarrassing difficulty.
  • noun The act of snarling; a growl; a surly or peevish expression; an angry contention.
  • noun A growl, as of an angry or surly dog, or similar; grumbling sounds
  • verb To form raised work upon the outer surface of (thin metal ware) by the repercussion of a snarling iron upon the inner surface.
  • verb To entangle; to complicate; to involve in knots; as, to snarl a skein of thread.
  • verb To embarrass; to insnare.
  • verb To growl, as an angry or surly dog; to gnarl; to utter grumbling sounds.
  • verb To speak crossly; to talk in rude, surly terms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make a snarling noise or move with a snarling noise
  • noun an angry vicious expression
  • verb twist together or entwine into a confusing mass
  • noun something jumbled or confused
  • verb utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone
  • verb make more complicated or confused through entanglements
  • noun a vicious angry growl

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English snarle, trap, probably diminutive of snare; see snare.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Frequentative of obsolete snar, perhaps from Dutch or Low German snarren, to rattle, probably of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English snarlen, frequentative of snare.

Examples

  • He bellied cautiously inside and was met by a warning snarl from the she-wolf.

    The Lair

  • The intent of the snarl is to warn or frighten, and judgment is required to know when it should be used.

    The Outcast

  • The air-traffic snarl from the Icelandic volcano has transformed Spain's capital and its airport into Europe's unofficial hub, as travelers grow desperate to reach their destinations.

    Madrid Takes on Role of Hub

  • It appears that many of the commentors use “neoconservative” as somewhat of a portmanteau snarl-word: the issue at discussion is the extent the snarl aspect applies to or is caused by Jews, either as individuals or as a collective.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Joe Klein Again

  • We're still very much in "snarl mode", but we have managed to find a picture of Blair looking at his equipment.

    Praise indeed

  • A good snarl from the heart is never tedious. (tis out August 5th, btw ... or sometime next year if yer in the US) duanawitch: I shall munch on your cookie with some milk to calm my bilious stomach.

    Duh, Tell Us About The Rabbits, George

  • There was a murmuring and a snarl from the tribespeople, a flashing of knives from the sheaths and a clicking of rusting guns.

    The "Fuzziness" of Hoockla-Heen

  • The intent of the snarl is to warn or frighten, and judgment is required to know when it should be used.

    The Outcast

  • He bellied cautiously inside and was met by a warning snarl from the she-wolf.

    The Lair

  • There was a murmuring and a snarl from the tribespeople, a flashing of knives from the sheaths and a clicking of rusting guns.

    The "Fuzziness" of Hoockla-Heen

Comments

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  • "The little painted horses stopped shifty and truculent and a vicious snarl of flies fought constantly in the bed of the gamewagon."

    --Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

    April 18, 2009