- the act of a person or thing that gnaws.
- Usually gnawings. persistent, dull pains; pangs: the gnawings of hunger.
Origin of gnawing
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of gnaw
Related Words for gnawingpeaked, barbed, pointed, piercing, keen, acuminate, jagged, fine, horned, honed, aciculate, acute, cuspate, cuspidate, lancinating, acuate, acuminous, apical, knife-edged
Examples from the Web for gnawing
Contemporary Examples of gnawing
You have taken to gnawing on dried pasta, the only thing left in your larder after days of gorging.So You Are Enduring a Temporarily Paralyzing Winter Storm
Kelly Williams Brown
February 15, 2014
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?Steve James and Christopher Nowinski Talk the New Doc ‘Head Games’
September 22, 2012
Before I got fired I was gnawing at the edges of my expressiveness or my brazenness.Rick Sanchez Licks His Wounds
January 9, 2011
Historical Examples of gnawing
Deep in his heart was a gnawing of envy—not for himself, but for his work.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
They've been drifted away into one of the deepest holes there is, and the rats have been gnawing at 'em.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
He was looking down, and gnawing at that tremulous upper lip.Wilfrid Cumbermede
It put a name to that gnawing, indefinite feeling she had been too intent to own.The Innocent Adventuress
Mary Hastings Bradley
Then came remembrance, and it was far worse than the fangs of pain that were gnawing him.Raiders Invisible
Desmond Winter Hall
- (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
Word Origin for gnaw
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.