gnaw meaning, gnaw definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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  ( gnaws    3rd person present)   ( gnawing    present participle)   ( gnawed    past tense & past participle  )
1       verb   If people or animals gnaw something or gnawat it, they bite it repeatedly.   (=chew)  
Woodlice attack living plants and gnaw at the stems...      V at/on n  
Melanie gnawed a long, painted fingernail.      V n  
2       verb   If a feeling or thought gnaws at you, it causes you to keep worrying.  

Doubts were already gnawing away at the back of his mind...      V at n  
Mary Ann's exhilaration gave way to gnawing fear.      V-ing  
Translation English Cobuild Collins Dictionary  


1    bite, chew, munch, nibble, worry  
2    consume, devour, eat away or into, erode, fret, wear away or down  
3    distress, fret, harry, haunt, nag, plague, prey on one's mind, trouble, worry  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

See also:

gnat, gawk, gawd, gawp

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