twisted with or as if with gnarls or knots; gnarled: long and gnarly fingers.
Slang. distasteful or distressing; offensive; gross: a comic noted for his gnarly humor.
Slang. excellent; wonderful: The live album has some gnarly guitar riffs and sweet bass lines.
Slang. difficult or dangerous: the gnarly surf.
- gnarl·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use gnarly in a sentence
Expect anything from firm, packed roads to gnarly switchbacks on narrow trails.
Backpackers can take a short but gnarly hike down steep, unmaintained routes to camp by the Gunnison River in almost total solitude.15 National Park Campsites to Add to Your Bucket List | Outside Editors | June 15, 2021 | Outside Online
Pedaling around with one wheel in the air won’t help you win a race or bomb a gnarly descent.
Find out why Anthony Bourdain’s boeuf bourguignon is one of our most popular recipes everThere is remarkable nuance and variety beneath those gnarly exteriors — a realm of flavor that this one-pot chicken dinner unearths beautifully.Hearty winter vegetables are at the root of this red wine chicken stew | Ellie Krieger | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
The gnarly seed that sprouts into a soft green thing and the sapling that becomes a behemoth, understandably, catch our eye.Junk Food Is Bad For Plants, Too - Issue 90: Something Green | Anne Biklé & David R. Montgomery | September 23, 2020 | Nautilus
Well the idea of “release” and infanticide and suggestions of eliminating the imperfect is pretty gnarly, if you think about it.'The Giver' Star Brenton Thwaites Knows You Think He's Too Old to Play Jonas | Kevin Fallon | August 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A helicopter hovered overhead, catching every second of the gnarly ride.
Work, especially, sees you getting kinks out of gnarly systems and operations.
Charred palm trees loomed over the road like gnarly fingers up through the ground.
Her neck, far too liberally exhibited, resembled nothing so much as the stem of an ill-conditioned, gnarly young olive tree.The British Expedition to the Crimea | William Howard Russell
They were twisted and gnarly, and with scarcely the semblance of the full meaty calf such as graces your leg and mine.
He pulled the face off one of them, literally pulled it off with those gnarly fingers of his and those tremendous muscles.
And as he peers he crooks one monstrous leg and with his gnarly toes scratches himself on the stomach.
Some gnarly apple which I pick up in the road reminds me by its fragrance of all the wealth of Pomona.An English Grammar | W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
British Dictionary definitions for gnarly
another word for gnarled
NZ informal good; great
surfing slang difficult and dangerous
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