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gnarly

[nahr-lee] /ˈnɑr li/
adjective, gnarlier, gnarliest.
1.
2.
Slang. distasteful; distressing; offensive; gross:
a comic noted for his gnarly humor.
Origin of gnarly
1820-1830
1820-30; gnarl1 + -y1
Related forms
gnarliness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gnarly
  • Below you will see the struggle it takes for an entire team of fishermen to catch this gnarly beast.
  • It's a palace of thrash, with as many gnarly facets as the best skate parks.
  • Near the mouth of the river is a sandy spit with low buildings decorated with oyster shells and gnarly driftwood.
  • And even the burliest sport coats can't defend against gnarly torrents of snow, sleet or bitter cold.
  • With gnarly computations one has to go through the whole messy detail step by step.
  • Simulating an economy is almost certainly a gnarly computation.
  • And sometimes cooking leaches out overly strong or gnarly flavors.
  • The demon ended up being an ancient sculpture of a gnarly monster, buried along with other stone sculptures.
  • Bark on smaller branches develops corky wings, or ridges, giving it a gnarly appearance.
  • On a knotty, gnarly block of wood you'll need to start your split from the outside edges and slab off the sides.
British Dictionary definitions for gnarly

gnarly

/ˈnɑːlɪ/
adjective
1.
another word for gnarled
2.
(NZ, informal) good; great
3.
(surfing, slang) difficult and dangerous
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
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Word Origin and History for gnarly
adj.

1829, "knotted and rugged," from gnarl (see gnarled) + -y (2). Picked up 1970s as surfer slang to describe a dangerous wave; it had spread in teen slang by 1982, where it meant both "excellent" and "disgusting."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gnarly

gnarly

adjective
  1. Excellent; wonderful; cool, hairy, great: That girl is gnarly. She goes to every party there is
  2. Disgusting: So, when the halls became a little too gnarly for Principal Charles Lutgen/ ''Gnarly'' means disgusting

[1980s+ Teenagers; said to have originated among 1970s surfers, describing a dangerous wave; this sense persisted among skateboarders until at least 1988]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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gnarly in Technology

jargon
/nar'lee/ Both obscure and hairy. "Yow! - the tuned assembler implementation of BitBlt is really gnarly!" From a similar but less specific usage in surfer slang.
[Jargon File]
(1996-09-17)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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10
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