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.
Cite This Source Link To gnawed
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It needs to be gnawed on in the psych literature for a while.
The researchers carried out their study so that other archaeologists will have
  a guide for when they encounter gnawed bones.
They have rodentlike incisors that never stop growing and are gnawed down on
  some of their tougher vegetarian fare.
The animal gnawed and chewed the tree's bark but avoided the nontoxic leaves
  and fruit.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature