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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 or 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]