Definitions for gnaw

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word gnaw

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to bite or chew on, esp. persistently:

    The kitten gnawed the slippers.

  2. to wear away or remove by persistent biting.

  3. to form by gnawing:

    to gnaw a hole.

  4. to waste or wear away.

  5. to trouble or torment by constant annoyance; vex; plague.

  6. (v.i.)to bite or chew persistently.

  7. to cause corrosion.

  8. to cause an effect resembling corrosion:

    Her mistake gnawed at her conscience.

Origin of gnaw:

bef. 1000; ME; OE gnagen, c. OS gnagan, OHG (g)nagan, ON gnaga


Princeton's WordNet

  1. gnaw(verb)

    bite or chew on with the teeth

    "gnaw an old cracker"

  2. erode, gnaw, gnaw at, eat at, wear away(verb)

    become ground down or deteriorate

    "Her confidence eroded"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. gnaw(verb)ɔ

    to chew repeatedly

    a dog gnawing on a bone; The beaver gnawed through the tree trunk.


  1. gnaw(Verb)

    To bite something persistently.

  2. gnaw(Verb)

    To produce excessive anxiety or worry.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gnaw(verb)

    to bite, as something hard or tough, which is not readily separated or crushed; to bite off little by little, with effort; to wear or eat away by scraping or continuous biting with the teeth; to nibble at

  2. Gnaw(verb)

    to bite in agony or rage

  3. Gnaw(verb)

    to corrode; to fret away; to waste

  4. Gnaw(verb)

    to use the teeth in biting; to bite with repeated effort, as in eating or removing with the teethsomething hard, unwiedly, or unmanageable

Anagrams of gnaw

  1. wang, Wang

  2. Ngwa

  3. Wang

Translations for gnaw

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to bite or chew with a scraping movement

The dog was gnawing a large bone; The mice have gnawed holes in the walls of this room.

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