[ naw ]
/ nɔ /
Save This Word!
verb (used with object), gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, gnaw·ing.
to bite or chew on, especially persistently.
to wear away or remove by persistent biting or nibbling.
to form or make by so doing: to gnaw a hole through the wall.
to waste or wear away; corrode; erode.
to trouble or torment by constant annoyance, worry, etc.; vex; plague.
verb (used without object), gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, gnaw·ing.
to bite or chew persistently: The spaniel gnawed happily on a bone.
to cause corrosion: The acid gnaws at the metal.
to cause an effect resembling corrosion: Her mistake gnawed at her conscience.
CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES?
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?
Origin of gnaw
before 1000; Middle English gnawen,Old English gnagen; cognate with German nagen,Old Norse gnāga
OTHER WORDS FROM gnaw
gnaw·a·ble, adjectivegnawer, nounoutgnaw, verb (used with object), out·gnawed, out·gnawed or out·gnawn, out·gnaw·ing.un·der·gnaw, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use gnaw in a sentence
Gellhorn was the better journalist and war correspondent, a fact that gnawed at Hemingway.The Wonderful ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn:’ Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, and the HBO Movie|Allen Barra|May 28, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Even at the most courageous and daring moments of his service in the desert, Lawrence was gnawed by these doubts.What We Need to Learn From T.E. Lawrence|Michael Korda|November 15, 2010|DAILY BEAST
It was the remnant of a once lofty barrier; the waters had, as it were, gnawed it to the bone, but they had not destroyed it.Overland|John William De Forest
"Perhaps Fane will recite to us his discovery," said Mr. Cray, scratching his scurfy head with the gnawed end of a penholder.Sinister Street, vol. 1|Compton Mackenzie
Still she stood silent and almost motionless, but her teeth gnawed at her white lips as if to bite them through.A Life Sentence|Adeline Sergeant
Oh, but how the ragged tooth of calumny gnawed his very heart!Heart|Martin Farquhar Tupper
Since the man had done so signal a service for Joyce, jealousy gnawed at his heart.The Highgrader|William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for 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)
the act or an instance of gnawing
Derived forms of gnawgnawable, 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