gnaw (at) (someone's) vitals

(redirected from gnaw his vitals)

gnaw (at) (someone's) vitals

To greatly or deeply trouble someone; to affect in someone an intense feeling of anguish or despair. Seeing the suffering of so many people overseas gnawed at her vitals day and night, so she decided to join the Red Cross so she could finally help in some way.
See also: gnaw
References in periodicals archive ?
Two famous figures of legend illustrate Spartan attitudes: the Spartan mother who, handing her son the shield he was to carry into battle, told him to come back either with it or on it; and the boy who, having hidden a stolen fox under his tunic, permitted it to gnaw his vitals rather than confess his theft.