AskDefine | Define snarl

Dictionary Definition



1 a vicious angry growl
2 an angry vicious expression
3 something jumbled or confused; "a tangle of government regulations" [syn: tangle, maze]


1 utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone; "The sales clerky snapped a reply at the angry customer"; "The guard snarled at us" [syn: snap]
2 make a snarling noise or move with a snarling noise; "Bullets snarled past us"
3 twist together or entwine into a confusing mass; "The child entangled the cord" [syn: entangle, tangle, mat] [ant: disentangle, disentangle]
4 make more complicated or confused through entanglements [syn: snarl up, embrangle]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A knot or complication of hair, thread, or the like, difficult to disentangle; entanglement; hence, intricate complication; embarrassing difficulty.
  2. The act of snarling; a growl; a surly or peevish expression; an angry contention.


knot or complication of hair, thread, or the like, difficult to disentangle
act of snarling


  1. To form raised work upon the outer surface of (thin metal ware) by the repercussion of a snarling iron upon the inner surface.
  2. To entangle; to complicate; to involve in knots; as, to snarl a skein of thread.
  3. To embarrass; to insnare.
  4. To growl, as an angry or surly dog; to gnarl; to utter grumbling sounds.
  5. To speak crossly; to talk in rude, surly terms.



To form raised work upon the outer surface of
To entangle
To embarrass
To growl
To speak crossly

Extensive Definition

A snarl is a facial expression, where the upper lip is raised, and the nostrils widen, generally indicating hate, anger or pain. In addition to humans, other mammals including monkeys and dogs snarl, often to warn others of their potential bite. In humans, snarling uses the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle. Snarling is often accompanied by or used synonymously with threatening vocalizations (it may also be used as an onomatopoeia for a threatening noise, as in the 'snarl' of a chainsaw). The atrophy of this muscle with age makes sometime a symmetrical or asymmetrical Alar vertical retraction and accentuates the "tear trough. Then the nose looks always bigger when we age.
snarl in Italian: Brontolìo

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Chinese puzzle, Gordian knot, Rube Goldberg contraption, allure, altercation, argument, ataxia, bait the hook, ball up, bark, bawl, belch, bellow, bicker, birdlime, blare, blat, blood feud, blubber, boom, brawl, bray, breathe, broil, burden, burr, buzz, cackle, can of worms, catch, catch out, caw, chant, chaos, chirp, chirr, clang, clangor, clank, clash, clutter, color, complex, complexity, complicate, complication, confound, confuse, contention, controversy, coo, cramp, craunch, cripple, croak, crow, crump, crunch, cumber, decoy, difficulty, dilemma, disarray, disorder, dispute, donnybrook, donnybrook fair, drawl, embarrass, embrangle, embroilment, encumber, enmesh, ensnare, ensnarl, entangle, entanglement, entoil, entrammel, entrap, entwine, enweb, exclaim, fetter, feud, fight, fix, fliting, flush, flute, foul up, fracas, frown, fuss, gasp, gin, glare, glower, gnarl, grimace, grind, groan, growl, grumble, grunt, hamper, hamstring, handicap, hiss, hobble, hook, hook in, howl, huddle, imbroglio, impede, implicate, intricacy, intricateness, inveigle, involve, jam, jangle, jar, jungle, keen, kink, knot, labyrinth, lame, lilt, lime, logomachy, look daggers, louse up, lower, lumber, lure, mantle, maze, meander, mesh, mess, mess up, mishmash, mix up, moan, morass, moue, mow, muck up, muddle, mumble, murmur, mutter, net, noose, open quarrel, pant, perplex, pickle, pipe, polemic, pout, predicament, press down, problem, quandary, quarrel, ramify, rasp, ravel, redden, rictus, roar, rumble, saddle with, scowl, scramble, scranch, scrape, scratch, scream, screech, screw up, scrunch, shackle, sharp words, shriek, sibilate, sigh, sing, skein, slanging match, snafu, snag, snake pit, snap, snare, snarl up, sniggle, snore, snort, sob, sough, spat, spit, spread the toils, squabble, squall, squawk, squeal, strife, swarm, tangle, tangled skein, thunder, tiff, tight spot, toil, topsy-turviness, trammel, trap, trip, trumpet, tussle, twang, twist, vendetta, wail, warble, web, webwork, weigh down, wheels within wheels, whine, whisper, whistle, wilderness, wind, words, wrangle, wry face, wry mouth, yap, yawp, yell, yelp
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