- 1Bite at or nibble something persistently: watching a dog gnaw at a big boneMore example sentences
- Never the same place twice. Once when he seemed almost awake, I asked him if he was worried about having his face gnawed on by the rat, but there was no answer, just a sort of grunt.
- Who hasn't chewed on gummy bears or gnawed on licorice candy?
- Now she takes you on a harrowing true life journey from childhood neglect so bad she gnawed at dog bones for nourishment.
- 1.1 [with object and adverbial] Bite at or nibble (something) so as to wear it away: the grubs tunnel into the wood and gnaw it awayMore example sentences
- Kellie, 14, bought herself a ring, and she says wearing it keeps her from gnawing her nails.
- As a rule, newscasts close with a brief on some animal with extraordinary skills - that day's feature was a parrot that gnaws sugar cane and nibbles at melon seeds.
- I drove forward to the entrance and gnawed my fingernails until a man parallel to me on the left honked and waved at me to go, forfeiting his turn through the intersection.
- 2Cause persistent distress or anxiety: the doubts continued to gnaw at meMore example sentences
prey on someone's mind, nag, plague, torment, torture, trouble, distress, worry, haunt, oppress, weigh heavily on someone's mind, be a weight on someone's mind, burden, hang over, harry, bother, exercise, fret; niggle, rankle with; festernagging, niggling, lingering, constant, continual, unrelenting, unabating; worrying worrisome, troubling, disturbing
- It takes root, festers, begins to gnaw at my soul.
- He had never known words could hurt this much, that they could gnaw at him, cause so much pain.
- But it's a challenge he does not intend to repeat because of the hours of training which have to be devoted to building up stamina - although he did admit on Tuesday that the thought of beating his time was beginning to gnaw at him.
Old English gnagen, of Germanic origin; related to German nagen, ultimately imitative.