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Definition of "gnaw" [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)

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.

Use "gnaw" in a sentence
  • "_BĂȘte Noire_, my _bĂȘte 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."