English version

gnaw (away) at somebody/something

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishgnaw (away) at somebody/something phrasal verbFRIGHTENEDWORRIEDto make someone feel worried or frightened, over a period of time Something was gnawing at the back of his mind. Doubt was gnawing away at her confidence. gnaw→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
gnaw (away) at A guilty pain began gnawing at her chest.Deep in the interstices of daily life, no doubt, frustrations gnawed at him and resentments festered.The lack of answers gnaws at me.The reality of reengineering has begun to gnaw away at those who had earnestly embraced this newest form of management self-improvement.
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Verb table
gnaw
Simple Form
Present
I, you, we, theygnaw
he, she, itgnaws
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Past
I, you, he, she, it, we, theygnawed
Present perfect
I, you, we, theyhave gnawed
he, she, ithas gnawed
Past perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theyhad gnawed
Future
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill gnaw
Future perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill have gnawed
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Continuous Form
Present
Iam gnawing
he, she, itis gnawing
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you, we, theyare gnawing
Past
I, he, she, itwas gnawing
you, we, theywere gnawing
Present perfect
I, you, we, theyhave been gnawing
he, she, ithas been gnawing
Past perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theyhad been gnawing
Future
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill be gnawing
Future perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill have been gnawing
> View Less