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1. Gnarled; misshapen.
2. Slang
a. Characterized by violent motion; powerful or turbulent: gnarly waves.
b. Unpleasant or difficult.
c. Remarkable; outstanding.


adj, gnarlier or gnarliest
1. another word for gnarled
2. informal NZ good; great
3. (Swimming, Water Sports & Surfing) surfing slang difficult and dangerous


(ˈnɑr li)

adj. gnarl•i•er, gnarl•i•est.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.gnarly - used of old persons or old trees; covered with knobs or knots; "gnarled and knotted hands"; "a knobbed stick"
crooked - having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned; "crooked country roads"; "crooked teeth"
References in classic literature ?
They were twisted and gnarly, and with scarcely the semblance of the full meaty calf such as graces your leg and mine.
Out of one window I can see the garden, those mysterious deepshaded arbors, the riotous old-fashioned flowers, and bushes and gnarly trees.
Along the way, he encounters some rather confused but well-intentioned sharks (this scene's a scream), a pack of surfer-dude sea tortoises cruisin' a gnarly current, dangerous fields of stinger-laden jellyfish and very scary creatures in uncharted trenches, where the Pixar animators prove as deft with the simple cinematic qualities of light and inky darkness as they do elsewhere with popping coral colors.
To say, "This way we could tell who the naturally gnarly skaters are and who simply isn't good" is fucked up.
A child coming in and looking at the rain tree and actually being able to touch this gnarly trunk will have an interest in animals, or other countries where they grow,'' he said.
We opened our City Challenges to discover that one of them was seriously gnarly.
These gnarly pieces of wood are not only messy, but they attract noisy woodpeckers and annoying squirrels.
Nearest to the Gnarly Number is designed for two players and can be easily modified to allow for participation by primary school students of all ages and abilities (see Differentiating the game).
James Corden dons the gnarly teeth to play Potts, a shy, bumbling man, who has spent years being bullied and lives with his parents in Port Talbot.
Deerhunter's 2013 album, Monomania, angled away from familiarly experimental ground into distorted, gnarly garage-rock.
Gnarly Nutrition has partnered up with Daniel to fuel is next adventure with their all-natural, clean supplement line.
It's refreshing to see a young guy from his generation tackle gnarly rails without looking like a massive jock.