The knots were so plentiful that the thread stood up like a gnarled flagpole.
I was taken into one by Maurice, a gnarled old Vietnam vet in a wooly hat.
Hard-caught game gets something feral and gnarled—Côte-Rôtie or a leathery Hermitage.
The young who are not gnarled and knocked around by the old fights are tired of the overtones of special pleading.
I suggested, and leaned across to lay the pomander in his gnarled hand.
So that the more knotted and gnarled a log of mahogany is, the better.
But they had a look on their sunburned, gnarled, and honest faces which the Butlers and Johnsons might well have shrunk from.
She got up out of the hay, and put out a gnarled brown hand for it.
His remarks were emphasized by the gestures of a huge and gnarled pair of hands.
The Phantom Ship's gnarled lavas may be examined and climbed.
the source of the group of words that includes gnarl (v.), gnarl (n.), gnarly is Shakespeare's use of gnarled in 1603:
Thy sharpe and sulpherous bolt Splits the vn-wedgable and gnarled Oke. ["Measure for Measure," II.ii.116]OED and Barnhart call it a variant of knurled, from Middle English knar "knot in wood" (late 14c.), originally "a rock, a stone;" of uncertain origin. "(Gnarled) occurs in one passage of Shakes. (for which the sole authority is the folio of 1623), whence it came into general use in the nineteenth century" [OED].