whittling

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whit·tle

 (wĭt′l, hwĭt′l)
v. whit·tled, whit·tling, whit·tles
v.tr.
1.
a. To cut small bits or pare shavings from (a piece of wood).
b. To fashion or shape in this way: whittle a toy boat.
2. To reduce or eliminate gradually: whittled down the debt by making small payments.
v.intr.
To cut or shape wood with a knife.

[From Middle English whyttel, knife, variant of thwitel, from thwiten, to whittle, from Old English thwītan, to strike, whittle down.]

whit′tler n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

whittling

The surgical alteration of the thumbs or fingers to enable more efficient use of handheld electronic devices such as cell phones.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in periodicals archive ?
Population dynamics and dissimilarities of biological nature (differences in turnover rate and seasonal alterations in standing stock) can cause significant divergences between the L and D foraminifera (e.g., Jorissen & Wittling, 1999; De Stigter et al, 2007; Duros et al, 2014).
After each case, questions were posted to the audience, and answers from delegates recorded with an electronic audience response system, provided by NASCI, and expertly handled by Ms Michele Wittling. At the end of the course, each delegate was credited with 70 supervised case reviews.
This type of asymmetrical activation of cerebral hemispheres is linked in the literature to states of depression and increased vulnerability to stress (Wittling 1997, Hecht 2010).
Wittling and Roschmann (1993), researching these phenomena discovered "that in subjects viewing emotional films the right hemisphere indicated stronger affective reactions.
The Clinton School Committee cut its proposed budget for the second time during the budget season, wittling it down to an almost 3.4 percent increase from the budget of Fiscal Year 2008.
Although impedance cardiography might contribute to a better physiological differentiation of emotions, only a few studies have used it for this purpose (Harrison et al., 2000; Neumann et al., 2001; Sinha et al., 1992; Wittling, Block, Schweiger, & Genzel, 1998).
However as Christmas approached, a clutch of teams including Everton and Liverpool were gradually wittling down United's lead.
Jason Wittling (far right, with wife Maureen and children Cody James, and Emily) of Park Falls.
It used to be said in my time that when other countries were wittling their squads down to 18, we were struggling to get 18 and I suppose it will always be like that.
CLINTON - The School Committee cut its proposed budget for the second time Wednesday night, wittling it down to an almost 3.4 percent increase from the budget of the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30.