gnash one's 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
References in classic literature ?
to be peeped at like a wild lion through the iron bars--to gnash one's teeth and howl, through the long still night, to the merry ring of a heavy chain and to roll and twine among the straw, transported with such brave music.
Nor is it necessary to gnash one's teeth every time companies release earnings reports or the Fed tweaks the interest rates.