gnaw at

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Related to gnaw at: gnaw away

gnaw (away) at (someone or something)

1. To chew on something, often biting off small pieces. The dog is just gnawing away at his new bone, happy as can be.
2. To bother someone or cause them worry or trepidation. His critical comments are really gnawing at me today—I can't stop thinking about them.
See also: gnaw

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.
See also: gnaw

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.
See also: gnaw

gnaw at

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.
See also: gnaw
References in periodicals archive ?
Alcohol and drug addiction play major roles in causing homelessness among families and these addictions gnaw at the solutions proposed to help them.
Instead of single cataclysmic events like Enron or MCI shaking the market to its core, these suits could present a slow drip that may gnaw at the D&O market persistently over time and present another governance headache to corporate boards.
Trustee Steve Fox said naming Sileo to watch over the CEO would cause ``gridlock'' at the hospital, and accused Rice and Farrukh of wanting to ``appoint a pit bull to gnaw at the rest of us.
The knowledge that the killers remain free can gnaw at them for years and years.
A cool rain drifted through Southern California on Saturday, as unusually high surf continued to gnaw at the coast.