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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.
gnash (one's) teeth
To lash out in anger. The boss will definitely start gnashing his teeth once he hears about this printing mishap.
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.
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.
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]
gnashing of teethor
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.
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.
gnash your teethfeel 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.
gnash your ˈteethfeel 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.
gnash one's teeth, to
To express one’s anger or frustration. This term, dating from the late sixteenth century, is redundant, since to gnash means “to strike the teeth together.” Today the verb is practically always figurative (no one actually strikes the teeth together) and is never heard except in this cliché. The King James Bible of 1611 has it: “But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12).
See also: gnash