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v. gnawed, gnaw·ing, gnaws
a. To bite, chew on, or erode with the teeth.
b. To produce by gnawing: gnaw a hole.
c. To erode or diminish gradually as if by gnawing: waves gnawing the rocky shore.
2. To afflict or worry persistently: fear that constantly gnawed me.
1. To bite or chew persistently: The dog gnawed at the bone.
2. To cause erosion or gradual diminishment.
3. To cause persistent worry or pain: Hunger gnawed at the prisoners.

[Middle English gnauen, from Old English gnagan.]

gnaw′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gnawer - relatively small placental mammals having a single pair of constantly growing incisor teeth specialized for gnawinggnawer - relatively small placental mammals having a single pair of constantly growing incisor teeth specialized for gnawing
eutherian, eutherian mammal, placental, placental mammal - mammals having a placenta; all mammals except monotremes and marsupials
order Rodentia, Rodentia - small gnawing animals: porcupines; rats; mice; squirrels; marmots; beavers; gophers; voles; hamsters; guinea pigs; agoutis
mouse - any of numerous small rodents typically resembling diminutive rats having pointed snouts and small ears on elongated bodies with slender usually hairless tails
rat - any of various long-tailed rodents similar to but larger than a mouse
murine - a rodent that is a member of the family Muridae
water rat - any of various amphibious rats
New World mouse - a variety of rodent
musquash, Ondatra zibethica, muskrat - beaver-like aquatic rodent of North America with dark glossy brown fur
cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus - destructive long-haired burrowing rat of southern North America and Central America
wood rat, wood-rat - any of various small short-tailed rodents of the northern hemisphere having soft fur grey above and white below with furred tails and large ears; some are hosts for Ixodes pacificus and Ixodes scapularis (Lyme disease ticks)
hamster - short-tailed Old World burrowing rodent with large cheek pouches
gerbil, gerbille - small Old World burrowing desert rodent with long soft pale fur and hind legs adapted for leaping
lemming - any of various short-tailed furry-footed rodents of circumpolar distribution
hedgehog, porcupine - relatively large rodents with sharp erectile bristles mingled with the fur
jumping mouse - any of several primitive mouselike rodents with long hind legs and no cheek pouches; of woodlands of Eurasia and North America
jerboa - mouselike jumping rodent
dormouse - small furry-tailed squirrel-like Old World rodent that becomes torpid in cold weather
squirrel - a kind of arboreal rodent having a long bushy tail
prairie dog, prairie marmot - any of several rodents of North American prairies living in large complex burrows having a barking cry
marmot - stocky coarse-furred burrowing rodent with a short bushy tail found throughout the northern hemisphere; hibernates in winter
beaver - large semiaquatic rodent with webbed hind feet and a broad flat tail; construct complex dams and underwater lodges
Aplodontia rufa, mountain beaver, sewellel - bulky nocturnal burrowing rodent of uplands of the Pacific coast of North America; the most primitive living rodent
cavy - short-tailed rough-haired South American rodent
Dolichotis patagonum, mara - hare-like rodent of the pampas of Argentina
capibara, capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris - pig-sized tailless South American amphibious rodent with partly webbed feet; largest living rodent
agouti, Dasyprocta aguti - agile long-legged rabbit-sized rodent of Central America and South America and the West Indies; valued as food
Cuniculus paca, paca - large burrowing rodent of South America and Central America; highly esteemed as food
mountain paca - rodent of mountains of western South America
coypu, Myocastor coypus, nutria - aquatic South American rodent resembling a small beaver; bred for its fur
Chinchilla laniger, chinchilla - small rodent with soft pearly grey fur; native to the Andes but bred in captivity for fur
mountain chinchilla, mountain viscacha - a rodent native to the mountains of Chile and Peru and now bred in captivity
chinchillon, Lagostomus maximus, viscacha - gregarious burrowing rodent larger than the chinchillas
abrocome, chinchilla rat, rat chinchilla - ratlike rodent with soft fur and large ears of the Andes
mole rat - furry short-limbed tailless rodent resembling a true mole in habits and appearance; of eastern Europe and Middle East
mole rat - African rodent resembling a mole in habits and appearance
sand rat - small nearly naked African mole rat of desert areas
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


n (Zool) → Nager m, → Nagetier nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
The Tucutuco (Ctenomys Brasiliensis) is a curious small animal, which may be briefly described as a Gnawer, with the habits of a mole.
Lamarck would have been delighted with this fact, had he known it, when speculating [7] (probably with more truth than usual with him) on the gradually acquired blindness of the Asphalax, a Gnawer living under ground, and of the Proteus, a reptile living in dark caverns filled with water; in both of which animals the eye is in an almost rudimentary state, and is covered by a tendinous membrane and skin.
260-271) Now there was one among the Mice, Slice-snatcher, who excelled the rest, dear son of Gnawer the son of blameless Bread-stealer.