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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

gnaw on

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Our advice is: Don't - fire up the BBQ and gnaw on a hotdog instead.
This means that they need things they can gnaw on to wear their teeth down, or they can grow into the skin, causing pain.
The scientists trained the fish to gnaw on a little bead hanging on a filament in the water.
Secondly provide all rodents with wood from fruit trees to gnaw on, making sure that the wood has not been treated with any pesticides.
Preliminary observations of rock-gnawing.--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.
To be a friend so that his loneliness wouldn't gnaw on him as bad as my mine did.