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1. To strike something repeatedly, making a loud banging or clattering noise as a result. You can bang away all you like, but you're never going to break down that door. I could spend all day banging away at my drum kit.
2. To continue working (on something), especially that which is very lengthy, difficult, or tedious. Usually followed by "at." I feel like we've been banging away at this project for years now! I still have a lot of my thesis left to write, so I'd better keep banging away.
3. slang To speak continuously or at great length about something in a foolish, tedious, or irritating manner. Usually followed by "at" or "about." Primarily heard in UK. The boss keeps banging away at us to get the project finished, but I refuse to rush things if they aren't ready. What on earth are you banging away about? You really have no idea how politics works, do you?
4. To clumsily strike the keys of something, such as a computer or piano. How much longer will your little sister be practicing the piano tonight? I'm getting a headache from listening to her bang away like that. I can hear my grandmother banging away on the computer right now.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Strike repeatedly, as in Mary is always banging away on the piano, or The doorbell must be broken; see who is banging away at the door. [First half of 1800s] Also see bang out.
2. Go ahead; begin or continue. This slangy imperative usually calls merely for energetic action, as in You can start without me-bang away. Also see go to (it), def. 3.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To hit something repeatedly, especially loudly or forcefully: He kept banging away on the door even though nobody answered.
2. To play a musical instrument with the hands, often loudly and with little skill: I couldn't get any sleep because my neighbor was banging away on the piano all night.
3. To work diligently and often at length at something: She banged away at the project until she finished it.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.