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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English gnawen, gnaȝen, from Old English gnagan, from Proto-Germanic *gnaganą. Cognate with Dutch knagen, German nagen, Swedish gnaga. Probably from Proto-Indo-European *gʰnēgʰ- (to gnaw, scratch)

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /nɔː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔː
  • Homophone: nor (in non-rhotic accent)

VerbEdit

gnaw (third-person singular simple present gnaws, present participle gnawing, simple past gnawed or (dialectal) gnew, past participle gnawed or (archaic) gnawn)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To bite something persistently, especially something tough.
    The dog gnawed the bone until it broke in two.
    • 1592-94?, Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, Scene iv, line 25:
      Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
  2. (intransitive) To produce excessive anxiety or worry.
    Her comment gnawed at me all day and I couldn't think about anything else.
  3. To corrode; to fret away; to waste.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle WelshEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

gnaw

  1. Soft mutation of knaw.

MutationEdit

Middle Welsh mutation
Radical Soft Nasal Aspirate
knaw gnaw knaw / chnaw
pronounced with /ŋ̥-/
chnaw
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.