Latin Gnatho, name of a parasitical character in the Eunuchus of Terence, Ancient Greek γνάθων (gnáthōn) (probably from the genitive plural form of γνάθος (gnáthos, “jaw”)- the genitive singular, γνάθου (gnáthou, “jaw”), was used adjectivally with the meaning "greedy"); hence, a parasite in general.
- (obsolete) Deceitful; flattering.
- 1855, Charles Kingsley, “The True and Tragical History of Mr. John Oxenham of Plymouth”, in Westward Ho!: Or, The Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, […], volume I, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan & Co., OCLC 1000395614, page 295:
- That Jack's is somewhat of a gnathonic and parasitic soul, or stomach, all Bideford apple-women know: […]
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “gnathonic” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)