Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To grind or strike (the teeth, for example) together.
  • transitive v. To bite (something) by grinding the teeth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To grind one's teeth in pain or in anger.
  • v. To run away

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To grind or strike the teeth together.
  • transitive v. To strike together, as in anger or pain.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To snap, grate, or grind (the teeth) together, as in anger or pain.
  • To snap or grate the teeth together, as in rage or pain.
  • n. A snap; a sudden bite.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. grind together, of teeth

Etymologies

Alteration of Middle English gnasten, gnaisten, possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse gnastan, a gnashing.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gnasten. Origin unknown; the word is probably either Germanic or onomatopoeic. Compare Old Norse gnastan, German knirschen, German Low German gnirschen, gn├Ârschen. (Wiktionary)

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