gnaw away

Also found in: Idioms.

w>gnaw away

vinagen (→ at, on an +dat)
vt sepwegnagen
References in classic literature ?
It suffices that the bees should be enabled to stand at their proper relative distances from each other and from the walls of the last completed cells, and then, by striking imaginary spheres, they can build up a wall intermediate between two adjoining spheres; but, as far as I have seen, they never gnaw away and finish off the angles of a cell till a large part both of that cell and of the adjoining cells has been built.
Nor can I gnaw away the boards, as I have no teeth.
A hacksaw appears to have also been used to gnaw away at locks.
But until TV producers start putting on shows called The Great British Starve Off, they're forced to watch strangers orgasm over some lavish dish while hunger pains gnaw away at their stomach.
Tempers fray and the four friends are plagued by nightmarish visions that gnaw away at their sanity.
Sharjah: Rodents are a major cause of domestic fires and accidents in Sharjah as they gnaw away at electrical cables, wiring and gas cylinder tubing, said a police forensic expert.
Rouseffs popularity has crumbled as her woes gnaw away at her and her government.
Soon the first potholes form and the jungle begins to gnaw away at the shoulders of the road.
Pardew, Manager of the Year in 2012, acknowledges that, while the threat of the sack can't be ignored, he refuses to let it gnaw away at his confidence.
Andujar is unlikely to worry Nadal with his serve but will still aim to gnaw away at his compatriot s sagging confidence, which was already weakened by consecutive claycourt losses to man-of-the-moment Novak Djokovic in Madrid and Rome.
The first series tells the story of the Simons, a family in the rural Rhineland, from 1919 to 1982, concentrating less on such staples of modem German history as the hyperinflation of the 1920s or the Holocaust, more on daily life and love, though the rise of the Nazis and the calamity of the Second World War gnaw away in the background.