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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gnast, knast, from Old English *gnāst ‎(spark) (in combination fȳrgnāst ‎(spark of fire)), from Proto-Germanic *gahnaistô ‎(spark), from Proto-Germanic *ga- + Proto-Germanic *hnaistô ‎(spark). Cognate with German dialectal Ganster ‎(spark), Danish gnist ‎(spark, sparkle), Swedish gnista ‎(spark), Icelandic gneisti, neisti ‎(spark), German Gneis ‎(spark, gneiss) (English gneiss).


gnast ‎(plural gnasts)

  1. (obsolete) A spark; a dying spark; a dead spark, as of a snuffed candle.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English gnasten, gnaisten, from Old English *gnǣstan, from Proto-Germanic *gnaistijaną, causative of *gnīstijaną ‎(to grind), from Proto-Indo-European *ghneidh-, *ghneid- ‎(to gnaw, scratch, rub). Cognate with Saterland Frisian knasterje ‎(to gnash), German Low German gnatschen ‎(to knead, gnash), German knastern ‎(to gnash), Icelandic gnesta ‎(to crack).


gnast ‎(third-person singular simple present gnasts, present participle gnasting, simple past and past participle gnasted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To gnash.
Derived terms[edit]