\ ˈnär(-ə)ld How to pronounce gnarled (audio) \

Definition of gnarled

1 : full of knots or gnarls : knotty gnarled hands gnarled olive trees
2 : crabbed in disposition, aspect, or character a gnarled old veteran

Examples of gnarled in a Sentence

the old man's gnarled fingers
Recent Examples on the Web For all that can appear constant and unchanging in Jerusalem — the curve of an ancient stone arch, the gnarled roots of an olive tree — the cycle of conquest has gone on for centuries. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2021 The inspirations for Slayyyter’s forthcoming album, Troubled Paradise, include Avril Lavigne and Fergie—though her beats are too gnarled and her lyrics are too filthy to be mistaken for TRL fare. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 25 May 2021 Berg’s fractured language and special bow techniques sound nothing like Mozart, and beneath his surfaces are writhing, gnarled passages Mozart couldn’t have imagined. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 21 May 2021 The single-track mountain-bike trail drops through a scrubby high-desert landscape of gnarled trees and thorny bushes and directly into a tunnel formed of spiky cactus. Jason H. Harper, Robb Report, 14 Mar. 2021 These stands of gnarled trees inside Hither Hills State Park are among the last of New York’s maritime forests, which have been cleared for development over the years and are threatened by worsening sea-level rise. Popular Science, 16 Oct. 2020 Shoggoths are hideous to look at — pale, bulbous, covered in scabby, asymmetric eyes — and deadly to encounter, with concentric rows of gnarled teeth that turn trespassers into tartare. Reggie Ugwu, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2020 One canvas shows a sunlit tree with lime-green leaves; another, a gnarled majestic one, its branches mostly bare. Kate Guadagnino, New York Times, 29 Sep. 2020 The saints watched from the crook of a massive, gnarled, and knotted tree: Saint Ursula clutched a sword, and beneath her a warrior held her scepter. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 27 May 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of gnarled

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gnarled

probably alteration of knurled

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gnarled

Time Traveler for gnarled

Time Traveler

The first known use of gnarled was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Statistics for gnarled

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gnarled.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gnarled



English Language Learners Definition of gnarled

of wood : having many twists and hard bumps or knots
: bumpy or twisted


\ ˈnärld How to pronounce gnarled (audio) \

Kids Definition of gnarled

: being twisted, rugged, or full of knots a gnarled old oak tree

More from Merriam-Webster on gnarled

Nglish: Translation of gnarled for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gnarled for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!