whittle away

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Related to whittle away: whittle down
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.whittle away - cut away in small pieces
damage - inflict damage upon; "The snow damaged the roof"; "She damaged the car when she hit the tree"

w>whittle away

vt sep
bark etcwegschneiden, wegschnitzen
(= gradually reduce)allmählich abbauen, nach und nach abbauen; rights, power etcallmählich or nach und nach beschneiden or stutzen; the benefit/pay increase has been whittled away by inflationder Gewinn/die Gehaltserhöhung ist durch die Inflation langsam zunichtegemacht worden
References in classic literature ?
I daresay I'd be wiser not to whittle away my copy.
Chris Hill and wife Susan fought a "long and wearying" battle with Grant Shortland as they tried "little by little" to whittle away his right of way to boost the value of their own home.
while they whittle away their kids' inheritance and their ' winter fuel allowance.
I don't know Paul's circumstances, but it seems to me that the club is trying to whittle away a few of the bigger earners and older players," said McCarthy.
As for the administration's spurious argument that even if carbon dioxide emissions do contribute to global warming, they make only a small contribution to a much larger problem that is global in scope, the majority offered this response: "Agencies, like legislatures, do not generally resolve massive problems in one fell swoop, but instead whittle away over time, refining their approach as circumstances change and they develop a more nuanced understanding of how best to proceed.
Liberal Democrat peer and human rights champion Lord Lester responded: "I find it completely astonishing that a modern Conservative Party should wish to whittle away these safeguards .