- Gnarled; misshapen.
- Slang a. Characterized by violent motion; powerful or turbulent: gnarly waves.b. Unpleasant or difficult.c. Remarkable; outstanding.
(comparative gnarlier, superlative gnarliest)
Note the contradictory senses of “good" and “bad". Meaning varies by community and context, and may be indicated by extra-verbal cues, such as tone of voice. Sense of “good" particularly associated with surf culture, to the point of being somewhat clichÃ©d, as in “gnarly wave, dude!".
gnarl +"Ž -y.
In slang senses, particularly popularized by US surf culture in the 1970s.
Pronounced "narlee," gnarly is a favorite word of high-tech enthusiasts to refer to something extreme, radical, perfection, over the top.