gnaw at


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
Related to gnaw at: gnaw away
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.gnaw at - become ground down or deteriorate; "Her confidence eroded"
decay, dilapidate, crumble - fall into decay or ruin; "The unoccupied house started to decay"
References in classic literature ?
The smaller red champion had fastened himself like a vice to his adversary's front, and through all the tumblings on that field never for an instant ceased to gnaw at one of his feelers near the root, having already caused the other to go by the board; while the stronger black one dashed him from side to side, and, as I saw on looking nearer, had already divested him of several of his members.
The mammals are most likely multituberculates, an extinct order of archaic mammals that resemble rodents and had paired upper and lower incisors - which they used to gnaw at the bones for minerals rather than for meat.
There is no military solution to the resentments and legitimate questions of justice that gnaw at the Holy Land.