AskDefine | Define gnarly

Dictionary Definition

gnarly adj : used of old persons or old trees; covered with knobs or knots; "gnarled and knotted hands"; "a knobbed stick" [syn: gnarled, knotted, knotty, knobbed]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

gnarl + -y

Pronunciation

  • (UK): /ˈnɑːli/, /"nA:li/
  • (US): , /ˈnɑrli/, /"nArli/

Adjective

  1. having or characterized by gnarls; gnarled
    On the right of the station were two gnarly cottonwood trees... — Mark Goodwin, Last Words
  2. dangerous
    When the swell struck, the North Shore got gnarly, and the wise ones hit the outer islands where the energy was just as juicy but a bit more organized. — Surfer Magazine, March 1977
  3. unpleasant, awful
    We're not talking about a lame chick and a gnarly guy. We're talking about a couple of far-out dudes. — D. Jenkins, Baja Oklahoma
  4. excellent, attractive
    "There ain't nothing gnarlier (apparently) than slapping on some brightly coloured sunblock to ward off the blinding spectre of dangerous, snow-reflected sunlight. — Glasgow Sunday Herald, 16 January 2000
  5. Of music or a sound, harsh
    "[She] displays the same love of gnarly fuzztones and shout-it-out-loud choruses that began back in her daze [sic] with local all-girl rockers the Runaways. — Los Angeles Times, 12 October 1986

Synonyms

Translations

See gnarled
slang: dangerous
slang: unpleasant, awful
slang: excellent, attractive
slang: harsh (of music or sound)
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