verb (1)
\ˈnär(-ə)l \
gnarled; gnarling; gnarls

Definition of gnarl 

(Entry 1 of 3)


verb (2)
gnarled; gnarling; gnarls

Definition of gnarl (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to twist into a state of deformity



Definition of gnarl (Entry 3 of 3)

: a hard protuberance with twisted grain on a tree

Examples of gnarl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Every awards show, us Allure staffers are scrambling to cover all the hair and makeup looks, corresponding with makeup artists, endlessly scouring social media for BTS footage, and typing until our little fingers are gnarled. Sable Yong, Allure, "Every Snack That Walked the 2018 Emmys’ Red Carpet," 17 Sep. 2018 Ribs that are roasted start to finish in an oven usually come out gnarled and dry. Julia Moskin, New York Times, "Mastering Chinese-Style Ribs at Home," 9 July 2018 Designed with sandstone and earth tones, the walls showcase works by contemporary Native American artists including Dan Namingha and Doug Coffin, while touches like gnarled wrought iron lamps appear throughout. Condé Nast Traveler, "Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi," 20 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Country-style ribs, on the other hand, have considerably less fat and gnarl than the butt and come in neat pieces that are easily sliced up. John Willoughby, charlotteobserver, "They’re not ribs, but they’re rib-sticking: Country-style ribs, explained | Charlotte Observer," 16 Jan. 2018 All of the food was either surplus from wholesalers or farms, or had cosmetic imperfections, such as nicks and gnarls, that grocers won’t tolerate. National Geographic, "This Free Feast for 5,000 Was Made From Food Waste," 10 May 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gnarl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gnarl

Verb (1)

1593, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1814, in the meaning defined above


1805, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gnarl

Verb (1)

probably frequentative of gnar

Verb (2)

back-formation from gnarled

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Dictionary Entries near gnarl


gnaphalium green






Statistics for gnarl

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Time Traveler for gnarl

The first known use of gnarl was in 1593

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More from Merriam-Webster on gnarl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gnarl

Comments on gnarl

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a nest or breeding place

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