chip away


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chip away

1. To break off fragments of something. We won't be able to move this huge rock until we chip away at it and make it smaller.
2. To come off of something in small pieces. The paint is so old that it has completely chipped away from this side of the house.
3. To complete small, incremental portions of a task. Try not to get too overwhelmed about cleaning the house and just chip away at it one room at a time.
See also: away, chip

chip something away (from something)

to break off tiny pieces of something. Many years of heavy use chipped the marble steps away. Someone chipped away little bits of the marble from that step.
See also: away, chip

chip away

[for something] to break off or break away in small chips. The edges of the marble step chipped away over the years. Some of the stone figures had chipped away so badly that we couldn't see what they were.
See also: away, chip

chip away

v.
1. To fall or break off in small pieces: The old paint chipped away from the frame when we opened the window.
2. To break off small pieces of something: Don't chip away the paint with a screwdriver. I chipped the enamel away with a scraper.
3. chip away at To reduce or make progress on something incrementally: We chipped away at the problem until it was solved. I chipped away at the dried cement on the tiles.
See also: away, chip
References in periodicals archive ?
The rescue team had to burrow beneath a rugby pitch and chip away at the concrete pipe as Sam the golden retriever yelped in distress.
Religious Right groups and their allies are now looking for ways to chip away First Amendment rights while spouting platitudes about "free speech" at the same time.
A grim, humourless group of people, they systematically chip away at the country's moral foundations.
Enzymes continually repair the damage that free radicals cause when they chip away at DNA, Metting says.
Now they're attempting to chip away affirmative action provisions by attaching an endless stream of amendments to reauthorization bills.
They freed him after three hours using 3ft-long cliff spikes to chip away rocks around his head.
While homeowners indifferently enjoy the benefits of tax-deductible interest associated with the mortgage on their home, many do not realize the array of limitations and other landmines that Congress has subtly added to the tax code in order to chip away at this sacred cow.
Stimpson continued to chip away at the Quins lead and two further penalties midway through the second half bought the Tigers to within touching distance at 13-9 before converting his own late try.
Two new studies chip away at--but do not entirely undermine--the case that a meteorite from Mars contains fossils of ancient life from the Red Planet.
Pundits and politicians who describe themselves as pro-choice have been strangely complicit in the effort to chip away at abortion rights.
But since the Act's introduction the powers that be have seen fit to chip away at it - diluting this crucial piece of legislation.
[Paragraph] His plan to boost the taxes paid by relatively well-off Social Security recipients "looks like the next step in a plan to chip away at Social Security from the top and turn it into a means-tested welfare program," as Doug Henwood pointed out in Left Business Observer.
Nonetheless, materials scientists continue to chip away at fabrication problems that threaten to keep these remarkable ceramics from becoming useful in some potentially far-reaching items--such as superconducting electrical power lines -- featured on many a technological wish list.
A document in my possession, codenamed - and I kid you not - "Chip Away", details a strategy to force staff to work harder while marginalising GMB representatives.
Fragments of another, smaller pseudodontorn were visible on the surface of the block, but the extensive skeleton it encased was not revealed until Smithsonian scientists began to chip away the hardened material early this year.