eat away at


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eat (away) at (someone or something)

1. To continually bother or worry someone. The precarious state of my finances has really begun to eat at me. I'm worried that your critical comments have begun to eat away at Tiffany—she seems very subdued these days.
2. To erode or wear something away. Don't use that harsh cleaner—it will eat away at a soft metal like this.
See also: eat

eat away at

Destroy gradually, erode; also, worry one constantly. For example, The sea has been eating away at the outer banks for years, or The fact that he failed the test is eating away at him. [Early 1800s]
See also: away, eat
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Medakovic, knowing which metals mess up the creatures' digestion could help researchers develop metals that are more resistant to "biofouling," the accumulation of barnacles and other critters that can eat away at ships' hulls.
I know these feelings intimately and how they eat away at the heart of one's calling and commitment, as described in my book, Defendant: A Psychiatrist on Trial for Malpractice (Vintage, 1986).
Why has NAS begun to eat away at the market opportunity previously dominated by SBS?
However, he cautions businesses about using revolving credit, which provides easy access to funding but can eat away at your cash on hand with high interest rates.
Ghoulish bond traders are concerned that inflation will eat away at their profits.
All the good arguments against the criminalization of consensual acts are here, somewhere: how these crusades prop up and empower organized crime; eat away at our constitutional rights to property and freedom from search and seizure; come nowhere close to achieving their aims; corrupt legitimate law enforcement; promote irresponsibility; and in general are merely sops to ignorance, fear, hatred, and envy.
Still, the fact that most large corporations turn a profit perpetuates the myth that they are paradigms of efficiency, even as foreign competitors and small domestic firms eat away at their profit margins.
Council planners fear the scheme will eat away at the green land which separates Bedworth from Coventry.
As urban sprawl begins to eat away at every part of America, everyone will begin searching for knowledge and ways to reach viable solutions.
180), is accumulating in the atmosphere and can eat away at the stratospheric ozone layer.
You can buy Treasuries through your broker or your bank, but the transaction fee you have to pay will eat away at your final profit.
While there is still a large amount of vacant space overhanging the market, there is also a backlog of space needs, unfilled during the Gulf crisis, that is beginning to eat away at it.
Flames had begun to eat away at a ceiling immediately below the boys' bedroom when the alarm was activated.
During their brief but fiery lives, these heavyweights spew out intense ultraviolet radiation and fierce winds that eat away at the mother cloud and expose newborns that had been swaddled inside.
Those fees will ultimately eat away at your profit.