gnaw [naw] /nɔ/ Show IPA verb, gnawed, gnawed or gnawn, gnawing.
verb (used with object)
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)
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
outgnaw, verb (used with object), outgnawed, outgnawed or outgnawn, outgnawing.
undergnaw, verb (used with object)