verb (used with object), gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, 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.
verb (used without object), gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, gnawing.
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.

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

gnawable, adjective
gnawer, noun
outgnaw, verb (used with object), outgnawed, outgnawed or outgnawn, outgnawing.
undergnaw, verb (used with object)
ungnawed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gnaw (nɔː)
vb (when intr, often foll by at or upon) (when intr, often foll by at) , gnaws, gnawing, gnawed, gnawed, gnawn
1.  to bite (at) or chew (upon) constantly so as to wear away little by little
2.  (tr) to form by gnawing: to gnaw a hole
3.  to cause erosion of (something)
4.  to cause constant distress or anxiety (to)
5.  the act or an instance of gnawing
[Old English gnagan; related to Old Norse gnaga, Old High German gnagan]
adj, —n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. gnagan (pt. *gnog, pp. gnagan), a common Gmc. word (cf. O.S. gnagan, O.N. gnaga, M.Du. knagen, Ger. nagen), probably imitative of gnawing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Here's a rhetorical question to gnaw on while calculating your brackets the
  next two weeks.
Instead they slowly gnaw away at their summer bounty throughout the winter.
Do not leave bags of salt or leather items where animals can gnaw them.
They also gnaw on wires for sprinkler systems and traffic lights.
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