View synonyms for gnawing


[ naw-ing ]


  1. the act of a person or thing that gnaws.
  2. Usually gnawings. persistent, dull pains; pangs:

    the gnawings of hunger.

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Other Words From

  • gnawing·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of gnawing1

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; gnaw, -ing 1

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Example Sentences

Judging by the rhetoric coming out of the Kremlin, however, it has fed Russia’s delusions of persecution and given Putin a gnawing appetite for revenge.

From Time

That somewhere out there is a place where an individual, a people, even an entire nation might assuage its spiritual gnawing, its hunger for more.

You have taken to gnawing on dried pasta, the only thing left in your larder after days of gorging.

But the whole time they have a gnawing feeling in the back of their minds: Am I being a good parent by letting them do this?

Laila lifted her foot above one of the air gnawing skulls and brought it down with a guttural grunt.

Before I got fired I was gnawing at the edges of my expressiveness or my brazenness.

On his way back, he noticed there were two others in the backroom, a couple of men gnawing on pretzels over beers.

Home, where nothing comes to distract me from my gnawing griefs and almost intolerable thoughts.

The poor Pompon, exceedingly perplexed, tugged at his beard, thoughtfully gnawing wisps of it.

Such a town as that has to be always moving back, and back, and back, because the river's always gnawing at it.

With all fed, there was silence save for gnawing teeth breaking through the hard crusts.