snout / muzzle

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Daniel López

Senior Member

I looked up these two words and some of the dictionaries used mainly "snout"; others used snout for pigs: and "muzzle/snout" for dog, wolf, et cetera.

Is "muzzle" a perfect synonym for "snout"?

Do you use one or another depending on the context or kind of animal referred to?

Maybe it also depends on regional usage.

Thank you for your kind help.
Last edited:
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The snout is the nose of an animal or informally/slang (derogatory or humorous) of a human. A snout is usually used of animals who use the nose very close to the ground when seeking food - pigs, hedgehogs, tapir, etc. It does not include the muzzle.

    The muzzle is the whole face forward of the eyes; its extent is shown when the animal yawns and, in animals, includes the nose.

    "muzzle" is not a perfect synonym for "snout."


    Senior Member
    Mainly US English
    I'd like to reopen this thread to ask the following: does snout have a negative connotation when used for an animal, specifically a cat? For example:

    The cat has a small snout.


    He has a snout like a cat.

    I was told that snout sounds negative and I should use muzzle instead. What do you think?


    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I have never heard anyone use the word snout when talking about a cat. The normal word for a cat's nose is nose.

    I don't believe muzzle is commonly used with cats, either.


    Senior Member
    The word 'snout' is not generally associated with cats (see Paul's post above). If you were to use it with cat I would assume you were indicating your revulsion to cats by likening a cat to a pig.
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