9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 gnashing
  • No one speaks a word, but the smacking of lips and gnashing of teeth is almost comically loud.
  • The chief of evil spirits, who is for ever gnashing his teeth over the damned.
  • And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • No watching it limp away into the dark night, no gnashing teeth.
  • More likely, it will involve a great weeping and gnashing of dentures, and electoral calamity.
  • Believe me, your wailing and gnashing of teeth wounds me as deeply as it wounds you.
  • Gold is a heavy, impervious metal that in a pure state is soft-- far too soft to withstand the gnashing of teeth.
  • They are gnashing their teeth and rending their clothes in anticipation of tomorrow's electoral defeat.
  • The early morning phone calls, the expressions of shock, the gnashing of teeth in the betting pools.
  • My policies cause much anguish and despair among some students, much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.
British Dictionary definitions for gnashing


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 gnashing



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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gnashing 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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