- 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] Bite at or nibble (something): she sat gnawing her underlipMore example sentences
erode, wear away, wear down, eat away (at); consume, devour
- 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 and wearing distress or anxiety: the doubts continued to gnaw at meMore example sentences
- 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 gnagan, of Germanic origin; related to German nagen, ultimately imitative.