Word of the Day: gnarled

Word of the Day: gnarled

: covered with knobs or knots, especially to describe trees, roots or wood


The word gnarled has appeared in 32 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Dec. 2 in “The Social Life of Forests” by Ferris Jabr:

In the summer of 2019, I met Simard in Nelson, a small mountain town not far from where she grew up in southern British Columbia. One morning we drove up a winding road to an old-growth forest and began to hike. The first thing I noticed was the aroma. The air was piquant and subtly sweet, like orange peel and cloves. Above our heads, great green plumes filtered the sunlight, which splashed generously onto the forest floor in some places and merely speckled it in others. Gnarled roots laced the trail beneath our feet, diving in and out of the soil like sea serpents. I was so preoccupied with my own experience of the forest that it did not even occur to me to consider how the forest might be experiencing us — until Simard brought it up.

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