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the abrupt, harsh, explosive cry of a dog.
a similar sound made by another animal, as a fox.
a short, explosive sound, as of firearms:
the bark of a revolver.
a brusque order, reply, etc.:
The foreman’s bark sent the idlers back to their machines.
a cough.
(of a dog or other animal) to utter an abrupt, explosive cry or a series of such cries.
to make a similar sound:
The big guns barked.
to speak or cry out sharply or gruffly:
a man who barks at his children.
Informal. to advertise a theater performance, carnival sideshow, or the like, by standing at the entrance and calling out to passersby.
to cough.
to utter in a harsh, shouting tone:
barking orders at her subordinates.
bark at the moon, to protest in vain:
Telling her that she’s misinformed is just barking at the moon.
bark up the wrong tree, to assail or pursue the wrong person or object; misdirect one’s efforts:
If he expects me to get him a job, he’s barking up the wrong tree.
the external covering of the woody stems, branches, and roots of plants, as distinct and separable from the wood itself.
Tanning. a mixture of oak and hemlock barks.
candy, usually of chocolate with large pieces of nuts, made in flat sheets.
to rub off or scrape the skin of, as by bumping into something:
to bark one’s shins.
to remove a circle of bark from; girdle.
to cover, enclose, or encrust with or as if with bark.
to treat with a bark infusion; tan.
to strip the bark from; peel.
Nautical. a sailing vessel having three or more masts, square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast, which is fore-and-aft-rigged.
Literary. a boat or sailing vessel.
Contemporary Examples

The wire is long gone, but a rusted snag remains entombed in the bark.
How the Kings of Fracking Double-Crossed Their Way to Riches ProPublica March 12, 2014

It all boils down to scratching your name in the bark of a tree.
Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview Alex Belth February 15, 2014

“Impossible,” began the other, but was silenced by a sort of bark from Mr. Wilde.
Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show Robert W. Chambers February 19, 2014

“They humiliated me, making me go on my hands and knees and bark like a dog before they would give me water,” she said.
Mother of Los Angeles’ Alleged Arsonist Had a Wild Life Christine Pelisek January 13, 2012

The trunks of the cherry trees were thicker and the bark darker and greyer than the apple tree trunks.
How I Found My Voice Carly Simon June 6, 2009

Historical Examples

These are more picturesque with the bark left on, but last longer peeled.
Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America

That it is one tree seems to be evident from the growth of the bark only on the outside.
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook

The absurd name “dog” having been given on account of its “bark.”
Wild Animals at Home Ernest Thompson Seton

The vessel was an English bark, full of soldiers, bound to New Brunswick.
Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper

The bark is broken into thick ridges set with warts, separated by deep fissures.
Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers

the loud abrupt usually harsh or gruff cry of a dog or any of certain other animals
a similar sound, such as one made by a person, gun, etc
his bark is worse than his bite, he is bad-tempered but harmless
(intransitive) (of a dog or any of certain other animals) to make its typical loud abrupt cry
(intransitive) (of a person, gun, etc) to make a similar loud harsh sound
to say or shout in a brusque, peremptory, or angry tone: he barked an order
(US, informal) to advertise (a show, merchandise, etc) by loudly addressing passers-by
(informal) bark up the wrong tree, to misdirect one’s attention, efforts, etc; be mistaken
a protective layer of dead corky cells on the outside of the stems of woody plants
any of several varieties of this substance that can be used in tanning, dyeing, or in medicine
an informal name for cinchona
verb (transitive)
to scrape or rub off skin, as in an injury
to remove the bark or a circle of bark from (a tree or log)
to cover or enclose with bark
to tan (leather), principally by the tannins in barks
a variant spelling (esp US) of barque

“tree skin,” c.1300, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse borkr “bark,” from Proto-Germanic *barkuz, which probably is related to birch and Low German borke. The native word was rind.

“any small ship,” early 15c., from Middle French barque (15c.), from Late Latin barca (c.400 C.E.), probably cognate with Vulgar Latin *barica (see barge). More precise sense of “three-masted ship” (17c.) often is spelled barque to distinguish it.

dog sound, Old English beorc, from bark (v.). Paired and compared with bite (n.) since at least 1660s; the proverb is older: “Timid dogs bark worse than they bite” was in Latin (Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet, Quintius Curtius).

in reference to a dog sound, Old English beorcan “to bark,” from Proto-Germanic *berkanan (cf. Old Norse berkja “to bark”), of echoic origin. Related: Barked; barking. To bark up the wrong tree is U.S. colloquial, first attested 1832, from notion of hounds following the wrong scent.
The protective outer covering of the trunk, branches, and roots of trees and other woody plants. Bark includes all tissues outside the vascular cambium. In older trees, bark is usually divided into inner bark, consisting of living phloem, and outer bark, consisting of the periderm (the phelloderm, cork cambium, and cork) and all the tissues outside it. The outer bark is mainly dead tissue that protects the tree from heat, cold, insects, and other dangers. The appearance of bark varies according to the manner in which the periderm forms, as in broken layers or smoother rings. Bark also has lenticels, porous corky areas that allow for the exchange of water vapor and gases with the interior living tissues.

bark is worse than one’s bite, one’s
bark up the wrong tree


Read Also:

  • Bark at the moon

    the abrupt, harsh, explosive cry of a dog. a similar sound made by another animal, as a fox. a short, explosive sound, as of firearms: the bark of a revolver. a brusque order, reply, etc.: The foreman’s bark sent the idlers back to their machines. a cough. (of a dog or other animal) to utter […]

  • Bark beetle

    any of numerous small, cylindrical beetles of the family Scolytidae that nest under the bark of hardwood trees, leaving intricate tracings on the wood. Historical Examples In the winter of 1953-54 before much mortality had occurred, the bark beetle infestations had become conspicuous. The Forest Habitat of the University of Kansas Natural History Reservation Henry […]

  • Bark cloth

    any cloth, as tapa, made by soaking and pounding the inner bark of certain trees. fabric woven to resemble such cloth, used for upholstery, bedcovers, etc. Historical Examples She had a quiet modest demeanour, though her dress was but a narrow fork clout of bark cloth. In Darkest Africa, Vol. 1; or, The quest, rescue […]

  • Barkhausen effect

    the phenomenon of short, sudden changes in the magnetism of a ferromagnetic substance occurring when the intensity of the magnetizing field is continuously altered. noun the phenomenon that ferromagnetic material in an increasing magnetic field becomes magnetized in discrete jumps, discovered by Heinrich Georg Barkhausen (1881–1956)

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