Share this entry

gnawing Syllabification: gnaw·ing
Pronunciation: /ˈnôiNG/

Definition of gnawing in English:


Persistently worrying or distressing: that gnawing pain in her stomach gnawing doubts
More example sentences
  • The self-hatred grew into a constant, gnawing pain.
  • Here was a little piece of miserable, gnawing confirmation.
  • I suspect both sides have enlisted troops to satisfy gnawing uncertainties.



Example sentences
  • A truly abusive home life is one of grinding cruddiness where the threat of violence is more gnawingly powerful than the beatings themselves.
  • Here one feels only abandonment and the gnawingly desperate hope that it will not always be so empty.
  • To play it was mesmerizing in what I felt to be a gnawingly unpleasant way, like taking time and just flushing it down the toilet.

Definition of gnawing in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious