: full of knots or gnarls : knotty
gnarled hands
gnarled olive trees
: 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 Naturally, there is a hand: a gnarled, green claw that emerges from the depths of the closet, like a ghost of the past reaching into the present. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Short, buff grasses grew in the valley along with a few gnarled trees. Kent Russell, Harper's Magazine, 11 May 2022 End, with its return to heavier rock pastures after The Wilderness’ more gnarled, electronic compositions, lives up to the anticipation. Patrick Lyons, Spin, 15 Sep. 2023 That larger illiberal vision for Europe is no longer just a fantasy lurking in the demagoguery of fringe populists or the gnarled resentment of politicians like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion after a hard hit in a Thursday night game against Cincinnati on Sept. 29 — probably his second head trauma in a four-day span — and his gnarled hands were frozen in an unnatural and deeply troubling way. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2022 Every frame feels heavy with it: Douglass, face clenched, walks alone through an autumn forest back home in the United States, under gnarled branches where lynching ropes had hung. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 14 June 2023 The gnarled branches of a 1,600-year-old juniper tree form a fire-breathing dragon. Hikari Hida, New York Times, 16 Apr. 2023 There’s almost no cover too thick or too gnarled to fish effectively with a weedless frog. Steve Price, Field & Stream, 7 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gnarled.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably alteration of knurled

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gnarled was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near gnarled

Cite this Entry

“Gnarled.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gnarled. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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