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[nash] /næʃ/
verb (used with object)
to grind or strike (the teeth) together, especially in rage or pain.
to bite with grinding teeth.
verb (used without object)
to gnash the teeth.
an act of gnashing.
Origin of gnash
1490-1500; variant of obsolete gnast, Middle English gnasten; compare Old Norse gnastan gnashing of teeth
Related forms
gnashingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gnashed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She gnashed her white tusks, and dug into the sand with her brazen claws.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • They gnashed their teeth silently, and clutched their swords under their coats.

    Japanese Fairy World William Elliot Griffis
  • Maddened at this direct accusation, the Sanhedrists "gnashed on him with their teeth."

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • Rage could not speak, but gnashed his teeth and stamped his feet.

    The Infernal Marriage Benjamin Disraeli
  • She gnashed her white tusks and dug into the sand with her brazen claws.

  • Five infatuated Mallares sputtered and wept and gnashed their teeth.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • When he saw she was a grown-up, he gnashed the little pearls at her.

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
  • When they heard these words, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.

    The Children's Bible Henry A. Sherman
  • Ethan gnashed his teeth with rage, and so did the squire, his father.

    The Coming Wave Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for gnashed


to grind (the teeth) together, as in pain or anger
(transitive) to bite or chew as by grinding the teeth
the act of gnashing the teeth
Derived Forms
gnashingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse gnastan gnashing of teeth, gnesta to clatter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gnashed



early 15c., variant of Middle English gnasten "to gnash the teeth" (c.1300), perhaps from Old Norse gnastan "a gnashing," of unknown origin, probably imitative. Cf. German knistern "to crackle." Related: Gnashed; gnashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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