different between cynical vs snark




Originated 1580–90 from cynic +? -al.


  • IPA(key): /?s?n?k?l/
  • Homophone: sinical


cynical (comparative more cynical, superlative most cynical)

  1. Of or relating to the belief that human actions are motivated only or primarily by base desires or selfishness.
  2. Skeptical of the integrity, sincerity, or motives of others.
  3. Bitterly or jadedly distrustful or contemptuous; mocking.
    • He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical remark-for instance, he would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies.
  4. Showing contempt for accepted moral standards by one's actions.
    • When he, at Neergard's cynical suggestion, had consented to exploit his own club [] and had consented to resign from it to do so, he had every reason to believe that Neergard meant to either mulct them heavily or buy them out. In either case, having been useful to Neergard, his profits from the transaction would have been considerable.
  5. (medicine, rare) Like the actions of a snarling dog, especially in reference to facial nerve paralysis.



  • “cynical”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 2000, ?ISBN
  • “cynical” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  • "cynical" in WordNet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.
  • cynical at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • calycin

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  • enPR: snärk, IPA(key): /sn??(?)k/
  • Rhymes: -??(r)k

Etymology 1

Noun sense “snide remark” as back-formation from snarky (1906), from obsolete snark (to snore, snort, verb) (1866), from Middle English snarken (to snore). Compare Low German snarken, North Frisian snarke, Swedish snarka, and English snort, and snore.


snark (uncountable)

  1. Snide remarks or attitude.
    Synonyms: sarcasm, snideness
    • 2010, David Denby, Snark, Pan Macmillan (?ISBN), page 4:
      Snark will get you any way it can, fore and aft, and to hell with consistency. In a media society, snark is an easy way of seeming smart. [] Snark doesn't create a new image, a new idea. It's parasitic, referential, insinuating.
Related terms
  • snarkiness
  • snarky


snark (third-person singular simple present snarks, present participle snarking, simple past and past participle snarked)

  1. To express oneself in a snarky fashion.
  2. (obsolete) To snort.
Derived terms
  • snarker

Etymology 2

From Snark, coined by Lewis Carroll as a nonce word in The Hunting of the Snark (1874), about the quest for an elusive creature. In sense of “a type of mathematical graph”, named as such in 1976 by Martin Gardner for their elusiveness.


snark (plural snarks)

  1. (mathematics) A graph in which every node has three branches, and the edges cannot be coloured in fewer than four colours without two edges of the same colour meeting at a point.
  2. (physics) A fluke or unrepeatable result or detection in an experiment.

Further reading

  • snark on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • Snark (Lewis Carroll) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • “snark”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  • snark at OneLook Dictionary Search



  • ARNKs, Karns, Kršan, K???a, karns, knars, krans, narks, ranks, skarn



  • IPA(key): /stnar?k/
  • Rhymes: -ar?k


snark n (genitive singular snarks, no plural)

  1. crackle (of a fire)


Related terms

  • snarka (to crackle)



From snórk. Cognate with Smalandian snarke m, Helsingian snárse, snarkse m, snarka f, Norwegian snerkje m.


snark m (nominative & accusative definite singular snarken)

  1. Skin, wrinkled skin-film which forms on porridge and gruel.
  2. Cream.

Alternative forms

  • sn?rk

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