gnaw on

gnaw on (someone or something)

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

gnaw on something

to chew on something. (Usually said of an animal.) The puppy has been gnawing on my slippers! This slipper has been gnawed on!
See also: gnaw, on

gnaw on

v.
1. To bite or chew on something, either without eating it or removing small pieces of it a bit at a time: The dog has been gnawing on that bone for days.
2. To cause someone or something to have or feel persistent discomfort, anxiety, or guilt: Unpleasant dreams gnawed on me all night and I couldn't sleep.
See also: gnaw, on
References in periodicals archive ?
Three female Rattus norvegicus (domestic Norway rats - relatively recent immigrants to the United States) were kept to see whether captive rodents will gnaw on rocks, and if so, how often.
In May 1999, a piece of Plattsmouth Limestone from the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence was placed against the wall of an apartment building just outside of campus, to see whether any wild rodents would chance to come and gnaw on it.
Rodents may gnaw on rocks for various reasons, including need for minerals, need to wear down the teeth, or need to release stress.
Thus far, no studies of this type of behavior have been made; and further study is needed to determine the reasons why wild rodents gnaw on rocks, and the role carbonate rocks play in the ecology of Indiana rodents.
Preliminary observations show that both captive and wild small rodents readily gnaw on carbonate rocks placed in their environment.
To be a friend so that his loneliness wouldn't gnaw on him as bad as my mine did.