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

To lash out in anger. The boss will definitely start gnashing his teeth once he hears about this printing mishap.
See also: gnash, 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

gnash your teeth

feel or express anger or fury.
The gnashing of teeth, along with weeping or wailing, is used throughout the Bible to express a mixture of remorse and rage (for example, in Matthew 8:12: ‘But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’).
1998 Times Prepare yourself for the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth after tomorrow's retail price index figures.
See also: gnash, teeth

gnash your ˈteeth

feel very angry and upset about something, especially because you cannot get what you want: He’ll be gnashing his teeth when he hears that we lost the contract.
The basic meaning of gnash your teeth is to bite or grind them together.
See also: gnash, teeth
References in classic literature ?
She gnashed her teeth in the frenzy that possessed her.
She had on her shoulders a garment red with the blood of men, and terribly she glared and gnashed her teeth.
was the first word he could utter as he literally gnashed his teeth.
Mr Partridge acted for some time on the defensive only; indeed he attempted only to guard his face with his hands; but as he found that his antagonist abated nothing of her rage, he thought he might, at least, endeavour to disarm her, or rather to confine her arms; in doing which her cap fell off in the struggle, and her hair being too short to reach her shoulders, erected itself on her head; her stays likewise, which were laced through one single hole at the bottom, burst open; and her breasts, which were much more redundant than her hair, hung down below her middle; her face was likewise marked with the blood of her husband: her teeth gnashed with rage; and fire, such as sparkles from a smith's forge, darted from her eyes.
He gnashed his teeth with the effort to control himself.
He gnashed his teeth with rage, tore the hair from his head, and assailed with horrid imprecations the men who had been intrusted with the writ.
By GARRETH MacNAMEE INJURED revellers are chomping at the bit for reconstructive surgery after being gnashed on nights out, research has revealed.
The shark raised its head out of the water and gnashed its teeth while I supplied it with three to five sharp whacks on the nose with my fly rod.
The reaction: Teeth get gnashed and hands get wrung.
Since November 1992, they have gnashed their teeth that this creature of the sixties is ruling the country, and they will do almost anything to smear him.
While most brokers gnashed their teeth and cursed the real estate crash of the late 80s and early 90s, real estate veterans Bill Graizel and Gary Seiden decided to turn lemons into lemonade.
LAST month, when posties and binmen looked set for long strikes, foetus-faced Cameroonians gnashed and wailed.
Standing over her was a young man, who only moments before, in a display of manliness, had gnashed through a coconut shell with his bare teeth.