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 *knewe- (“to scratch or scrape”)
- (transitive) To bite something persistently, especially something tough.
- The dog gnawed the bone until it broke in two.
- (intransitive) To produce excessive anxiety or worry.
- Her comment gnawed at me all day and I couldn't think about anything else.
- To corrode; to fret away; to waste.
to bite something persistently
to produce anxiety or worry