Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gnashing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth at home when I decided to accept it.

    The Making Of A Novelist David Christie Murray
  • He looked back and there was a corpse running and gnashing its teeth.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • The English came on, four to one, gnashing their teeth like devils of the pit.

    Fort Amity Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He was scowling, gnashing his teeth, and brandishing his arms.

  • He sat looking at it, gnashing his teeth together, and clenching his fists.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope
  • On it came, gnashing its teeth, resolved apparently to have its revenge on me.

    In the Wilds of Florida W.H.G. Kingston
  • What gnashing of teeth there will be, when they hear of me in a Confederate port!


    Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
  • Well, to see you standing there cursing and gnashing your teeth while you brush your hair!

    A Sheaf of Corn Mary E. Mann
  • gnashing his teeth, he tried to carry the eternal subtleties by violence.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for gnashing


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gnashing



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for gnashing

Word Value for gnashing

Scrabble Words With Friends