gnash


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gnashing of teeth

A very vocal display of anger, irritation, contempt, or complaint. After the initial gnashing of teeth, most people just came to accept the new policy. There was much gnashing of teeth over the decision to replace the show's star with another actor.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

gnash one's teeth

Fig. to grind or bite noisily with one's teeth. Bill clenched his fists and gnashed his teeth in anger. The wolf gnashed its teeth and chased after the deer.
See also: gnash, teeth

gnashing of teeth

Fig. a show of anger or dismay. (Biblical: "weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.") After a little gnashing of teeth and a few threats, the boss calmed down and became almost reasonable.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

gnash one's teeth

Express a strong emotion, usually rage, as in When Jonah found out he was not going to be promoted, he gnashed his teeth. This expression is actually redundant, since gnash means "to strike the teeth together." Edmund Spenser used it in The Faerie Queene (1590): "And both did gnash their teeth." [Late 1500s]
See also: gnash, teeth

gnashing of teeth

or

wailing and gnashing of teeth

People say that there is gnashing of teeth or wailing and gnashing of teeth when people become very worried or upset by something that has happened. In the City, the government's proposal is causing much gnashing of teeth. Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Social Democratic left-wingers, this does look like a first step in the right direction. Note: You can also say weeping and gnashing of teeth. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth when the Office for National Statistics counted a million fewer people than expected. Note: This expression is often used disapprovingly to show that you think people's reactions are too strong. Note: The phrases `weeping and gnashing of teeth' and `wailing and gnashing of teeth' both appear several times in the Bible in descriptions of the people who are sent to hell.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

gnash your teeth

COMMON If someone gnashes their teeth, they show their anger or annoyance about something. If Blythe heard that piece on the radio, I bet he was gnashing his teeth. He naturally gnashes his teeth over the growing number of lawsuits that have made doing business in America increasingly expensive and difficult.
See also: gnash, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
1, gnash their teeth watching other kids play for the national championship.
Two more runs would score in that inning, leaving the tomahawk crowd to gnash its teeth rather than wave its choppers.
Then you try to worm your way back by turning up five minutes before the bailiffs cast me out in the darkness to wail and gnash my teeth.