Gnaw Gnaw (n[add]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Gnawed} (n[add]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Gnawing}.] [OE. gnawen, AS. gnagan; akin to D. knagen, OHG. gnagan, nagan, G. nagen, Icel. & Sw. gnaga, Dan. gnave, nage. Cf. {Nag} to tease.] 1. To bite, as something hard or tough, which is not readily separated or crushed; to bite off little by little, with effort; to wear or eat away by scraping or continuous biting with the teeth; to nibble at. [1913 Webster]

His bones clean picked; his very bones they gnaw. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. To bite in agony or rage. [1913 Webster]

They gnawed their tongues for pain. --Rev. xvi. 10. [1913 Webster]

3. To corrode; to fret away; to waste. [1913 Webster]

4. To trouble in a constant manner; to plague; to worry; to vex; -- usually used with at; as, his mounting debts gnawed at him. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • gnawing — [nô′iŋ] n. 1. a sensation of dull, constant pain or suffering 2. [pl.] pangs, esp. of hunger …   English World dictionary

  • gnawing — /ˈnɔ ɪŋ/ (say naw ing), /ˈnɔrɪŋ/ (say nawring) noun 1. the act of someone or something that gnaws. 2. a persistent pain suggesting gnawing: the gnawings of hunger. –adjective 3. persistent and debilitating: *The elation of personal triumph gave… …   Australian English dictionary

  • gnawing — adj. Gnawing is used with these nouns: ↑doubt …   Collocations dictionary

  • gnawing — gnaw|ing [ˈno:ıŋ US ˈno: ] adj [only before noun] worrying or painful, especially for a long time ▪ gnawing doubts …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gnawing — adjective (only before noun) painful or worrying, especially only slightly but for a long time: gnawing doubts about her own abilities …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • gnawing — [ˈnɔːɪŋ] adj continuously causing you pain or worrying you a gnawing fear that something would happen to her father[/ex] …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • gnawing — gnawingly, adv. /naw ing/, n. 1. the act of a person or thing that gnaws. 2. Usually, gnawings. persistent, dull pains; pangs: the gnawings of hunger. [1300 50; ME; see GNAW, ING1] * * * …   Universalium

  • gnawing — 1. adjective /ˈnɔːɪŋ,ˈnɔɪŋ/ severe or intense 2. noun /ˈnɔːɪŋ,ˈnɔɪŋ/ A sensation of being gnawed …   Wiktionary

  • gnawing — Synonyms and related words: ablative, abradant, abrasive, ache, aching, acute, acute pain, afflictive, agonizing, angina, atrocious, attritive, backache, bellyache, bite, biting, boring pain, cephalalgia, chafing, charley horse, colic,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • gnawing — (Roget s Thesaurus II) adjective Marked by severity or intensity: acute, knifelike, lancinating, piercing, sharp, shooting, stabbing. See BIG …   English dictionary for students

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