verb Etymology: Middle English gnawen, from Old English gnagan; akin to Old High German gnagan to gnaw Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. to bite or chew on with the teeth; especially to wear away by persistent biting or nibbling <
a dog gnawing a bone
b. to make by gnawing <
rats gnawed a hole
2. a. to be a source of vexation to ; plague <
anxiety always gnawing him
b. to affect like gnawing <
hunger gnawing her vitals
3. erode, corrode intransitive verb 1. to bite or nibble persistently <
gnawing at his underlip
2. to produce an effect of or as if of gnawing <
waves gnawing away at the cliffs
gnawer noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gnaw — is the name of a Sharkticon, in the fictional Transformers universe.It is also a chewing action that most rodents do.Generation 1Transformers character name =Gnaw caption =Wheelie and Gnaw affiliation =Decepticon subgroup =Sharkticons rank =… …   Wikipedia

  • gnaw — [no: US no:] v [I,T always + adverb/preposition] [: Old English; Origin: gnagan] to keep biting something hard = ↑chew ▪ Dexter gnawed his pen thoughtfully. ▪ A rat had gnawed a hole in the box. gnaw at/on ▪ The puppy was gnawing on a bone. gnaw… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gnaw — [ nɔ ] verb intransitive or transitive to keep biting something: David gnawed his lip, obviously worried. A rat had gnawed through the cable. gnaw ,at or ,gnaw a way at phrasal verb transitive gnaw (away) at someone if something gnaws at you, you …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Gnaw — Gnaw, v. i. To use the teeth in biting; to bite with repeated effort, as in eating or removing with the teeth something hard, unwieldy, or unmanageable. [1913 Webster] I might well, like the spaniel, gnaw upon the chain that ties me. Sir P.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gnaw — O.E. gnagan (pt. *gnog, pp. gnagan) to gnaw, a common Germanic word (Cf. O.S. gnagan, O.N., Swed. gnaga, M.Du., Du. knagen, O.H.G. gnagan, Ger. nagen to gnaw ), probably imitative of gnawing. Related: Gnawed; gnawing …   Etymology dictionary

  • gnaw — [nô] vt. gnawed, gnawed or Rare gnawn, gnawing [ME gnawen < OE gnagen, akin to Ger nagen (OHG gnagan) < IE * ghnēgh < base * ghen , to gnaw away, rub away > GNASH, GNAT] 1. to cut, bite, and wear away bit by bit with the teeth 2. to… …   English World dictionary

  • gnaw — [v1] bite, chew champ, chaw, chomp, consume, corrode, crunch, devour, eat, eat away, erode, gum, masticate, munch, nibble, wear; concepts 169,185 gnaw [v2] be bothered, worried about annoy, bedevil, beleague, distress, eat at*, fret, harass,… …   New thesaurus

  • gnaw — index obsess, pique Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • gnaw — vb *bite, champ, gnash Analogous words: fret, *abrade: *worry, annoy …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • gnaw — ► VERB 1) bite at or nibble persistently. 2) cause persistent anxiety or pain. DERIVATIVES gnawingly adverb. ORIGIN Old English, ultimately imitative …   English terms dictionary

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