eat off

eat (something) off

To erode or wear something away. A very corrosive substance must have eaten off this part of the pipe.
See also: eat, off

eat something off (of) something

 and eat something off
to erode something off a larger part. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The acidic rain ate the finish off the steeple. The acid ate off the finish.
See also: eat, off
References in classic literature ?
And so, as we have said, the iron gate leading into the kitchen-garden had been closed up and left to the rust, which bade fair before long to eat off its hinges, while to prevent the ignoble glances of the diggers and delvers of the ground from presuming to sully the aristocratic enclosure belonging to the mansion, the gate had been boarded up to a height of six feet.
But she admitted: "I can't get Kitty to eat off my hand at all.
I eat off an eight-and-ahalf inch plate and the effect of the operation is that you respond negatively to sugar and fat and you don't weight absorb them fully which makes you feel unwell - that's a bonus for me as I avoid them even now.
Eat off smaller plates It's an Irish thing, "Eat the whole plate or no dessert", but quite often our portions are far too big.
Scientists have taken a close-up of fish lips to find out just how certain species can safely eat off razor-sharp corals, and it turns out the fish are kissing the corals with lips covered in mucus.
1 Always wash your hands before eating, and only eat off clean, dry plates and utensils.
render burnt offerings and eat off the fat of the land;
They probably also allow the snapping, spoiled pets to eat off their plates, address the animals in nauseous "baby speak" and force them into fancy dress for boorish Facebook photos.
If I wanted to eat off wood, I'd dress as a squirrel and live up a tree.
The 37-year-old British comedian believes an egg would be perfect to eat off the football star because it needs to be "mopped up".
The books we read, the plates we eat off of, the clothes we wear--at some point in their creation, someone (or several someones) came in and made them look the way they do.
This Iittala White Taika Plate with Peacock design looks so good I'd hang it on the wall rather than eat off it.
We throw food at him because he won't come out and eat off a plate.
Of course, it ignores the slight issue that most obese people do not eat off plates at a table, but directly from polystyrene trays and polythene sleeves while waddling around town.
I had two goldfish called Rosie and Jim and Jim used to eat off bits of Rosie's tail when they swam round in their bowl.