[ naw-ing ]
/ ˈnɔ ɪŋ /


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

Origin of gnawing

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at gnaw, -ing1


gnaw·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for gnawing (2 of 2)

[ naw ]
/ nɔ /

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

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

Origin of gnaw

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

OTHER WORDS FROM gnaw Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gnawing

British Dictionary definitions for gnawing

/ (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 gnaw

gnawable, 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