gnaw at

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v gnaw at become ground down or deteriorate "Her confidence eroded"
    • ***

Quotations

  • Hitopadesa
    Hitopadesa
    “What ever is the natural propensity of a person is hard to overcome. If a dog were made a king, he would still gnaw at his shoes laces.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    Henry%20Ward%20Beecher
    “Interest works night and day in fair weather and in foul. It gnaws at a man's substance with invisible teeth.”
  • Guillaume Apollinaire
    Guillaume Apollinaire
    “I love men, not for what unites them, but for what divides them, and I want to know most of all what gnaws at their hearts.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    Henry%20David%20Thoreau
    “Do what you love. Know you own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.”
  • Thomas H. Huxley
    Thomas%20H.%20Huxley
    “Time, whose tooth gnaws away at everything else, is powerless against truth.”

Usage

In literature:

A Rat gnawed at the boards near her, and she hardly turned her head.
"Among the Farmyard People" by Clara Dillingham Pierson
Yet two things like worms in the bud would gnaw at his peace.
"The Long Night" by Stanley Weyman
There is something gnawing there incessantly; at times I feel that it has nearly pierced my life, that death is surely near.
"Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia" by L. Mühlbach,
Any dog would have pulled that on to the floor and gnawed at it.
"The Outdoor Chums at Cabin Point" by Quincy Allen
How could there be peace while memory and conscience were gnawing at his heart?
"Cobwebs and Cables" by Hesba Stretton
But they would not touch it, though hunger was gnawing keenly at them.
"Jack Haydon's Quest" by John Finnemore
At the guardhouse of the Adzumabashi she had killed and gnawed a hundred adults.
"The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari" by James S. De Benneville
Far at the other side of the big hall a mountain rat resumed its gnawing.
"The Cross-Cut" by Courtney Ryley Cooper
Madonna, it is like rats gnawing at my legs, and nothing will stop it.
"The Call of the Blood" by Robert Smythe Hichens
He gnawed at his finger nails.
"Wayside Courtships" by Hamlin Garland
But the sheer hatred of what I came to call the uselessness of war gnawed at my soul.
"The Best Short Stories of 1915" by Various
Thus it was avoided by mankind, till time gnawed at its walls and destroyed its battlements.
"Legends of the Rhine" by Wilhelm Ruland
But this uncertainty was something that gnawed at the soul's roots and left it rotting.
"Highways in Hiding" by George Oliver Smith
Course, it ain't five minutes before she's cuddlin' him up and cooin' to him, and he's gnawing away at her thumb with his little puppy teeth.
"Torchy As A Pa" by Sewell Ford
Poor Pompon, in dire perplexity, tugged at his beard and gnawed the ends of it.
"The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2)" by Alphonse Daudet
He gnawed at his finger-nails.
"Other Main-Travelled Roads" by Hamlin Garland
He gnawed away at the cords to such good advantage that Reade soon had the use of his hands.
"The Grammar School Boys Snowbound" by H. Irving Hancock
And so, perforce, I waited, gnawing at my own heart, until at last the funeral ceremonies were over.
"The Substance of a Dream" by F. W. Bain
Of the sorrow that was gnawing at John Fulton's heart I saw no sign.
"We Three" by Gouverneur Morris
Joe closed the scuttle, and with despair gnawing at his vitals sat on it.
"A Master Of Craft" by W. W. Jacobs
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In poetry:

Then warmer waves gnawed at its crumbling base,
As if in piteous plea;
The ardent sun sent slow tears down its face
Soft flowing to the sea.
"A Tryst" by Celia Laighton Thaxter
The night is sliding towards the dawn,
And upturned hills crouch at autumn's knees.
A torn moon flees
Through the hemlock trees,
The hours have gnawed it to feed their spawn.
"The Last Quarter Of The Moon" by Amy Lowell
Who hath talked of weeping?—Yet
There is something at my heart,
Gnawing, I would fain forget,
And an aching and a smart. —Ah! my mother, 'tis in vain,
For he is not come again.
"Death’s Chill Between" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Envy will gnaw its heart away
To see thy genius gather root;
And as its flowers their sweets display
Scorn's malice shall be mute;
Hornets that summer warmed to fly,
Shall at the death of summer die.
"To John Milton" by John Clare
What time for books and music, when
The lambs were bleating in their pen,
The chickens peeping at the door;
The rodent gnawing at the churn,
The buckwheat wafers crisped to burn,
The kettle boiling o'er?
"Never Had A Chance" by Hattie Howard
I move not; she lies with her lips
At mine; and I feel she is drawing
My life from my heart to their tips,
My heart where the horror is gnawing;
My life in a thousand slow sips,
My flesh with her sorcery awing.
"The Dream Of Dread" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

Updated Friday, Nov 9, 2012, at 6:16 p.m. An Alaskan polar bear takes a break from gnawing on whale meat.
Odd Future's Flog Gnaw Carnival at Club Nokia.
The collective will swarm Club Nokia for a full day of surprisingly wholesome-sounding fun at the wrap-up of its Camp Flog Gnaw tour.
Identity issues gnaw at newsies.
Breakdowns gnaw at defense despite rout.
Homesteaders Gnaw at Brazil Rain Forest.
Cimino tackled Ms Dean-Corino and, bleeding all over her, "began to gnaw " at her head, all while "screaming like an animal," according to a state police press release.
As Weeks Wore On, Mark's Smugness, Perceived Inaction Gnawed at His Numbers.
Fighting off, and feeding on, rodents that would gnaw away at masterpieces, dozens of "working" cats patrol the labyrinthine storerooms of Russia's Hermitage museum.
The questions gnaw at me as a little scene I witnessed the other day keeps replaying itself in my head.
Should the United States fall off the so-called "fiscal cliff," Northeast Ohio's health care providers would stomach millions of dollars in revenue cuts their leaders say could gnaw away at their already-slim operating margins.
The things that agitate Jazz fans also gnaw at Tyrone Corbin.
They are national news items that have been gnawing at me for days.
Rabbits were gnawing at the bark of my apple trees last winter, so I put spiral plastic tree guards around the trunks.
A retiree was filmed gnawing at a young man's arm in a fight for a train seat in a subway in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Province yesterday morning.
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