gnaw

[ naw ]
/ nɔ /

verb (used with object), gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, gnaw·ing.

verb (used without object), gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, gnaw·ing.


Nearby words

  1. gnathoplasty,
  2. gnathostoma,
  3. gnathostome,
  4. gnathostomiasis,
  5. gnatty,
  6. gnawing,
  7. gnawingly,
  8. gnawn,
  9. gnc,
  10. gneiss

Origin of gnaw

before 1000; Middle English gnawen, Old English gnagen; cognate with German nagen, Old Norse gnāga

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gnaw


British Dictionary definitions for gnaw

gnaw

/ (nɔː) /

verb gnaws, gnawing, gnawed, gnawed or gnawn (nɔːn)

(when intr, often foll by at or upon) to bite (at) or chew (upon) constantly so as to wear away little by little
(tr) to form by gnawingto gnaw a hole
to cause erosion of (something)
(when intr, often foll by at) to cause constant distress or anxiety (to)

noun

the act or an instance of gnawing
Derived Formsgnawable, adjectivegnawer, noungnawing, adjective, noungnawingly, adverb

Word Origin for gnaw

Old English gnagan; related to Old Norse gnaga, Old High German gnagan

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

Word Origin and History for gnaw

gnaw

v.

Old English gnagan (past tense *gnog, past participle gnagan) "to gnaw," a common Germanic word (cf. Old Saxon gnagan, Old Norse, Swedish gnaga, Middle Dutch, Dutch knagen, Old High German gnagan, German nagen "to gnaw"), probably imitative of gnawing. Related: Gnawed; gnawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper