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[nash] /næʃ/
verb (used with object)
to grind or strike (the teeth) together, especially in rage or pain.
to bite with grinding teeth.
verb (used without object)
to gnash the teeth.
an act of gnashing.
Origin of gnash
1490-1500; variant of obsolete gnast, Middle English gnasten; compare Old Norse gnastan gnashing of teeth
Related forms
gnashingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gnashed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Maddened with fear and rage he gnashed his teeth and growled, and then charged at the child.

    The Coming of Cuculain Standish O'Grady
  • She gnashed her white tusks, and dug into the sand with her brazen claws.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The old man shivered with ague the whole day, he swore and gnashed his teeth.

  • They gnashed their teeth silently, and clutched their swords under their coats.

    Japanese Fairy World William Elliot Griffis
  • He gnashed his teeth and shook her by the shoulders exultantly.

  • Maddened at this direct accusation, the Sanhedrists "gnashed on him with their teeth."

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • He gnashed his teeth, and rolled over and over in a paroxysm of jealous recollection.

    Guy Livingstone; George A. Lawrence
  • She gnashed her white tusks and dug into the sand with her brazen claws.

  • He screamed, yelled, gnashed his teeth, struck and snapped at everyone around.

    In Indian Mexico (1908) Frederick Starr
British Dictionary definitions for gnashed


to grind (the teeth) together, as in pain or anger
(transitive) to bite or chew as by grinding the teeth
the act of gnashing the teeth
Derived Forms
gnashingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse gnastan gnashing of teeth, gnesta to clatter
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 gnashed



early 15c., variant of Middle English gnasten "to gnash the teeth" (c.1300), perhaps from Old Norse gnastan "a gnashing," of unknown origin, probably imitative. Cf. German knistern "to crackle." Related: Gnashed; gnashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gnashed in the Bible

Heb. harak, meaning "to grate the teeth", (Job 16:9; Ps. 112:10; Lam. 2:16), denotes rage or sorrow. (See also Acts 7:54; Mark 9:18.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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