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Definition of "gnaw" []

  • To bite, chew on, or erode with the teeth. (verb-transitive)
  • To produce by gnawing: gnaw a hole. See Synonyms at bite. (verb-transitive)
  • To erode or diminish gradually as if by gnawing: waves gnawing the rocky shore. (verb-transitive)
  • To afflict or worry persistently: fear that constantly gnawed me. (verb-transitive)
  • To bite or chew persistently: The dog gnawed at the bone. (verb-intransitive)
  • To bite (at) or chew (upon) constantly so as to wear away little by little (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To form by gnawing (verb)
  • To cause erosion of (something) (verb)
  • To cause constant distress or anxiety (to) (verb)
  • The act or an instance of gnawing (noun)

www.Collinsdictionary.com (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "gnaw" in a sentence
  • "_Bête Noire_, my _bête noire_, and so I called him, and as he is by no means averse to eating through his head rope when picketed, I find that the curtailment to "gnaw" is satisfactory enough as far as names go."
  • "[FN#244] The term is picturesque and true; we say "gnaw," which is not so good."
  • "But in my case, the Oreos were likely to grow teeth and gnaw my fingers off."
  • "[FN#244] The term is picturesque and true; we say "gnaw," which is not so good."
  • "I was still young and slim and had many secrets to gnaw on."
  • "Here, I can confess that I see sickness like a violent weed growing everywhere, in the rubbish bins that puff out ash clouds, in the dirty puddles that ooze in the streets, in the breath of the gin ladies who hang about the sidewalk, in the dead cats, the hungry mice that gnaw at the walls, when I go walking in the park and see packs of stray dogs making garbage of the city."