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Bark Definition and Meaning

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Published on June 26, 2024
Bark is the protective outer covering of the trunk, branches, and twigs of trees and shrubs. e.g., The tree's bark was rough to the touch.

Bark Definitions

The sound made by a dog.
The dog's bark startled the intruders.
The outer layer of a tree.
Beetles can damage the tree by burrowing into the bark.
To utter a short, loud cry.
The sergeant barked orders at the recruits.
To speak angrily or abruptly.
She barked a response to the rude question.
To advertise or proclaim loudly.
Vendors barked their wares in the market.
A type of boat or sailing ship.
The old bark sailed slowly across the harbor.
A cough that sounds like a dog barking.
The patient's cough was a harsh bark.
To laugh in a loud, harsh way.
He barked with laughter at the joke.
To strip the bark from a tree.
Loggers bark trees before processing them into lumber.
To make a noise resembling a dog's bark.
The door hinge barked as it swung open.
The harsh sound uttered by a dog.
A sound, such as a cough, that is similar to a dog's bark.
The tough outer covering of the woody stems and roots of trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. It includes all tissues outside the vascular cambium.
A specific kind of bark used for a special purpose, as in tanning or medicine.
A sailing ship with from three to five masts, all of them square-rigged except the after mast, which is fore-and-aft rigged.
A small vessel that is propelled by oars or sails.
To utter a bark.
To make a sound similar to a bark
"The birds bark softly, sounding almost like young pups" (Charleston SC News and Courier).
To speak sharply; snap
"a spot where you can just drop in ... without anyone's barking at you for failing to plan ahead" (Andy Birsh).
To work as a barker, as at a carnival.
To utter in a loud, harsh voice
The quarterback barked out the signals.
To remove bark from (a tree or log).
To rub off the skin of; abrade
Barked my shin on the car door.
To tan or dye (leather or fabric) by steeping in an infusion of bark.
To treat (a patient) using a medicinal bark infusion.
(intransitive) To make a short, loud, explosive noise with the vocal organs (said of animals, especially dogs).
The neighbour's dog is always barking.
The seal barked as the zookeeper threw fish into its enclosure.
(intransitive) To make a clamor; to make importunate outcries.
(transitive) To speak sharply.
The sergeant barked an order.
To strip the bark from; to peel.
To abrade or rub off any outer covering from.
To bark one’s heel
To girdle.
To cover or inclose with bark, or as with bark.
Bark the roof of a hut
The short, loud, explosive sound uttered by a dog, a fox, and some other animals.
(figuratively) An abrupt loud vocal utterance.
The exterior covering of the trunk and branches of a tree.
(medicine) Peruvian bark or Jesuit's bark, the bark of the cinchona from which quinine is produced.
Hard candy made in flat sheets, for instance out of chocolate, peanut butter, toffee or peppermint.
The crust formed on barbecued meat that has had a rub applied to it.
The envelopment or outer covering of anything.
(obsolete) A small sailing vessel, e.g. a pinnace or a fishing smack; a rowing boat or barge.
(poetic) A sailing vessel or boat of any kind.
(watercraft) A vessel, typically with three (or more) masts, with the foremasts (or fore- and mainmasts) square-rigged, and mizzenmast schooner-rigged.
To strip the bark from; to peel.
To abrade or rub off any outer covering from; as to bark one's heel.
To cover or inclose with bark, or as with bark; as, to bark the roof of a hut.
To make a short, loud, explosive noise with the vocal organs; - said of some animals, but especially of dogs.
To make a clamor; to make importunate outcries.
They bark, and say the Scripture maketh heretics.
Where there is the barking of the belly, there no other commands will be heard, much less obeyed.
The short, loud, explosive sound uttered by a dog; a similar sound made by some other animals.
Formerly, any small sailing vessel, as a pinnace, fishing smack, etc.; also, a rowing boat; a barge. Now applied poetically to a sailing vessel or boat of any kind.
A three-masted vessel, having her foremast and mainmast square-rigged, and her mizzenmast schooner-rigged.
Tough protective covering of the woody stems and roots of trees and other woody plants
A noise resembling the bark of a dog
A sailing ship with 3 (or more) masts
The sound made by a dog
Speak in an unfriendly tone;
She barked into the dictaphone
Cover with bark
Remove the bark of a tree
Make barking sounds;
The dogs barked at the stranger
Tan (a skin) with bark tannins

Bark Snonyms


The thick outer skin of certain fruits or the bark of trees.
Orange rind can be used in cooking for its zest.


The dry outer covering of some fruits or seeds.
The corn was shucked, removing its husk.


To call or cry out loudly and vigorously.
He shouted for help when he saw the rising waters.


The outer covering or skin of fruits and vegetables.
She peeled the apple, removing its colorful peel.


A long, loud, doleful cry uttered by an animal or a person.
The wolves howled under the full moon.


To shout or scream loudly.
The coach yelled instructions from the sidelines.


A low guttural sound made by an animal or person in anger or frustration.
The dog growled at the stranger approaching the door.


The characteristic sound made by a dog.
The small dog's woof was surprisingly deep.


To speak abruptly or sharply.
She snapped her reply, leaving no room for argument.


To make an aggressive growl with bared teeth.
The dog snarled at the mailman.

Bark Idioms & Phrases

His bark is worse than his bite

Someone who sounds more aggressive or threatening than they are in reality.
Don't be scared of the boss; his bark is worse than his bite.

To bark at the moon

To waste one's efforts on something that won't yield results or is pointless.
Arguing with him is like barking at the moon.

Bite worse than one's bark

To be more harmful or dangerous than one appears or claims to be.
Beware of the quiet ones; their bite can be worse than their bark.

Bark is on

Indicating that something is in a state of deterioration or is not going well.
With these constant errors, the bark is definitely on.

The bark peeled off

To reveal one's true nature or intentions, often negative.
When confronted, the bark peeled off, and his true colors were shown.

All bark and no bite

Someone who is full of big talk but lacking in action.
He threatens to sue everyone but he's all bark and no bite.

Save one's bark

To remain silent or hold one's peace until it's necessary to speak.
He saved his bark until he had something important to say.

Bark off more than one can chew

To take on more than one can handle or manage.
By accepting too many projects, he barked off more than he could chew.

Smooth as bark

Something that appears simple or straightforward, but may not be so.
The plan sounds smooth as bark, but I suspect it's more complicated.

Bark orders

To issue commands in a forceful and brusque manner.
The captain barked orders to his crew during the storm.

Bark of laughter

A sudden, loud laugh.
His joke was met with a bark of laughter from the audience.

Bark falls off

When something is exposed or becomes clear after being hidden.
When the truth came out, the bark fell off the mystery.

To have a bark like a bear

To have a very deep and loud voice.
The coach's bark like a bear could be heard across the field.

Bark one's shins

To bump into something or hurt oneself, usually by accident.
I barked my shins on the coffee table in the dark.

Bark the hour

To announce or make known a specific time, much like a town crier.
The old clock tower used to bark the hour to the whole village.

Bark and hold

To confront or challenge someone without intending to take further action.
He's good at barking and holding, but rarely follows through.

Where the bark is

Referring to the source or heart of a matter or problem.
To solve this, we need to get to where the bark is.

Bark Example Sentences

The ancient bark was anchored at the dock for tourists to see.
The dog's bark echoed through the quiet neighborhood.
The child's cough sounded like a harsh bark in the night.
She could hear the bark of a seal from the harbor.
His attempt to bark orders was met with resistance from the team.
The distinctive bark of a fox could be heard in the distance.
She gently touched the tree's bark, feeling its texture.
The rough bark of the oak tree was home to many insects.
After the bark was stripped, the tree seemed vulnerable and exposed.

Common Curiosities

How do we divide bark into syllables?

Since bark has only one syllable, it is not divided.

What is a stressed syllable in bark?

In the word "bark," the entire word is stressed as it is a single syllable.

What is the first form of bark?

The first form of bark is "bark."

How many syllables are in bark?

Bark has one syllable.

How is bark used in a sentence?

Bark is used to describe the sound a dog makes or the outer layer of a tree.

Why is it called bark?

It is called "bark" from the Old Norse word "bǫrkr" referring to the protective outer layer of trees, and the sound "bark" imitates the noise dogs make.

What is the root word of bark?

The root of "bark" in the context of a tree's covering is from the Old Norse word "bǫrkr." In the context of a dog's sound, it is an onomatopoeic word.

What is the third form of bark?

The third form of bark is also "barked."

What part of speech is bark?

Bark can be a noun (referring to the outer layer of a tree) or a verb (referring to the sound a dog makes).

What is another term for bark?

Another term for bark (tree covering) is "rind." For the sound a dog makes, "yelp" or "woof" can be alternatives.

What is the verb form of bark?

The verb form of bark is "bark," as in "to bark."

What is the plural form of bark?

The plural form can be "barks" when referring to multiple sounds or instances of the outer layer of trees.

What is the pronunciation of bark?

Bark is pronounced as /bɑːrk/.

What is the opposite of bark?

The opposite of bark (sound) could be "whisper" or "silence." For bark (tree covering), there isn't a direct opposite.

Is bark an adverb?

No, bark is not an adverb.

Is bark an abstract noun?

No, bark is not an abstract noun; it has physical (tree bark) and audible (dog bark) representations.

Is bark a collective noun?

No, bark is not a collective noun.

Is the word bark imperative?

Bark can be used in an imperative form, e.g., "Bark now!" in dog training.

Is the word “bark” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

In sentences like "I heard the dog's bark," "bark" is a direct object.

What is the singular form of bark?

The singular form is "bark."

Is bark a noun or adjective?

Bark can be a noun (outer layer of a tree or a dog's sound) but not an adjective.

Is bark a vowel or consonant?

The word "bark" starts with a consonant 'b'.

Is the word bark a Gerund?

"Barking" would be the gerund form of the verb bark.

Which determiner is used with bark?

Determiners like "the" or "a" can be used with bark, e.g., "the bark of a tree."

Is the bark term a metaphor?

Bark can be used metaphorically, especially in phrases like "barking up the wrong tree."

Which preposition is used with bark?

Prepositions like "of" or "at" can be used with bark, e.g., "the bark of a tree" or "barking at the moon."

What is the second form of bark?

The second form of bark is "barked."

Which article is used with bark?

The definite article "the" or the indefinite article "a/an" can be used with bark, depending on the context.

Is bark a negative or positive word?

Bark is neutral; its connotation depends on the context in which it is used.

Is bark a countable noun?

As a noun, bark can be countable when referring to different types of barks (sounds) or uncountable when referring to the material (tree bark).

Which vowel is used before bark?

No specific vowel is used before "bark"; it depends on the context of the sentence.

Which conjunction is used with bark?

Conjunctions are not specifically associated with bark; it depends on the sentence structure.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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