- A spark; a dying spark; a dead spark, as of a snuffed candle.
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”).
(third-person singular simple present gnasts, present participle gnasting, simple past and past participle gnasted)
- (intransitive) To gnash.
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”).