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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.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

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.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

wail like a banshee

Scream shrilly, as in Terrified, she wailed like a banshee. In Irish folklore, a banshee is a spirit in the form of a wailing woman whose appearance is an omen that one member of a family will die. The simile dates from the late 1800s.
See also: like, wail

gnashing of teeth


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.
See also: gnash, of, teeth


in. to be great. (see also wailing.) Things really started to wail about midnight when the band really got going.

wail on someone

in. to beat someone. (see also whale the tar out of someone.) Who are those two guys wailing on Sam?
See also: on, someone, wail


and whaling
mod. excellent. (Teens.) What a whaling guitar!
See also: wail
References in periodicals archive ?
For the competition final, Wail attributed his win to football freestyle coupled with dancing and basketball freestyle.
The wails consist of an extremely rapid series of different, loud sounds, which each animal produces in its own unique tone, she believes.
But however wailingly Keane yammered and Stammered about the plight of the exploited he was outwailed for wailer of the week by Wails (there's nothing for it, I fear, but to adjust the spelling of yr hen wlad) manager Mark Hughes, which is why there's a fair chance that he's the toy-launching perambulator's perambulatoree.
Holocaust memories: Air raid sirens wail in tribute to murdered millions
The Gwrach y Rhibyn also appeared as an old woman - a hideous one - and would wail and moan in grief in the same way as a banshee.
The wail ends abruptly, and the Niemeyers are on their way.
Danielle Wails pretended mystery raiders had knocked her out, tied her up then started the fire which claimed four-month-old Alexander Gallon's life.
Wails, 21, who admitted killing her four-month-old son Alexander Gallon in a fire she started at their Cowgate home, and a 23-year-old, who cannot be named, convicted of poisoning her three-month-old son with soap, have both been bound over to keep the peace.
Wails, who had split from the baby's father Robert Gallon after a series of rows, was living in accommodation provided by a charity which helps single mothers.
Wails, who had split from the baby's father, Robert Gallon, after a series of rows, was living in accommodation provided by a charity which helps single mothers.
In a regular stick-built house, inadequate insulation is common in many areas: at exterior corners, intersections of interior and exterior wails, the area where the roof meets the house, and around envelope penetrations and behind shower stalls, just to name a few.
The mammal eaters' wails feature "long downward slides" that strike Deecke as "melancholy" and "very haunting" He says the fish eaters sound "more upbeat.
Both wails have fixed glazing with custom built mullions and transoms.
CHILD killer Danielle Wails has spoken for the first time about how she let her baby son burn to death in a house fire.
Solicitor Tony Davis, representing Wails, said that after sentence, Wails was abandoned at Durham rail station with a travel warrant by police and told to make her own way to an address in Leeds.