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Related to gnaw at: gnaw away
gnaw (away) at someone
Fig. to worry someone; to create constant anxiety in someone. The thought of catching some horrible disease gnawed away at her. A lot of guilt gnawed at him day and night.
gnaw (away) at someone or something
Lit. to chew at someone or something. I hear a mouse gnawing away at the wall. The mosquitoes are gnawing at me something awful.
1. To bite or chew on something, removing small pieces of it a bit at a time: The mice gnawed at the corner of the box until they had made a small hole in it.
2. To cause someone or something to have or feel persistent discomfort, anxiety, or guilt: His harsh criticism gnawed at me the rest of the day. Hunger was gnawing at my stomach.