1 of 2

adjective (1)

bark·​less ˈbärk-ləs How to pronounce barkless (audio)
of a dog
: marked by the absence of or inability to produce barking sounds : lacking a bark
When I was growing up, I had read a children's book where the family had a couple of these dogs and I had been fascinated by the fact that they were barkless.Linda M. Howard
The dog … was a basenji—a rare breed also known as "the barkless dog of the Congo."Pat Cahill


2 of 2

adjective (2)

of a woody plant or plant part
: lacking bark
… cavorting on the barkless cantilevered trunk of a dead tree …Jay Jacobs
The river was full of logs—long, slender, barkless pine logs—and we leaned on the rails of the bridge, and watched the men put them together into rafts.Mark Twain

Word History


Adjective (1)

bark entry 1 + -less

Adjective (2)

bark entry 3 + -less

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

1841, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of barkless was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near barkless

Cite this Entry

“Barkless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

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