eat away

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eat away

To erode or wear something away. Don't use that harsh cleaner—it will eat away at a soft metal like this.
See also: away, eat

eat something away

to erode something; to consume something bit by bit. The acid ate the finish away. It ate away the finish.
See also: away, eat
References in periodicals archive ?
3 : to destroy as if by eating : corrode <Acids ate away the metal.>
Long negotiations at Upton Park caused unrest that ate away at the Hammers last season and nearly killed them off.
Slowly it ate away at her self-confidence and esteem.
Abbey Cape, from Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, suffered severe cardiomyopathy which ate away at her heart leaving just eight per cent able to function.
Steve Jobs, interim CEO and original co-founder of Apple, made tough pruning decisions and planted new seeds of change that include: dumping the Newton personal digital assistants; ending Mac clone licensing agreements that ate away Apple's profits; and restricting sales of Apple products to CompUSA and 3,500 authorized U.S.
Over time, the hardened lava resisted erosion, and the displaced rivers ate away at the softer rock on either side of the deposits.