Simple Definition of gnaw
: to bite or chew (something) repeatedly
: to make (a hole in something) by chewing
Full Definition of gnaw
1 a : to bite or chew on with the teeth; especially : to wear away by persistent biting or nibbling <a dog gnawing a bone> b : to make by gnawing <rats gnawed a hole>
2 a : to be a source of vexation to : plague <anxiety always gnawing him> b : to affect like gnawing <hunger gnawing her vitals>
1 : to bite or nibble persistently <gnawing at his underlip>
2 : to produce an effect of or as if of gnawing <waves gnawing away at the cliffs>
gnawerplay \ˈnȯ(-ə)r\ noun
Examples of gnaw in a sentence
The dog was gnawing a bone.
He nervously gnawed on his fingernails.
Rabbits have gnawed at the hedge.
Rabbits had gnawed a hole in the hedge.
Origin and Etymology of gnaw
Middle English gnawen, from Old English gnagan; akin to Old High German gnagan to gnaw
First Known Use: before 12th century
Rhymes with gnaw
aw, awe, blaw, braw, ca, caw, chaw, claw, craw, daw, draw, flaw, haw, jaw, la, law, maw, pa, paw, pshaw, Ra, rah, raw, saw, shah, shaw, slaw, spa, squaw, straw, tau, taw, thaw, yaw
GNAW Defined for Kids
Definition of gnaw for Students
: to bite so as to wear away : bite or chew upon <The dog gnawed a bone.>
Seen and Heard
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