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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"If he'd have gone through his career and never won Wimbledon, it would have eaten away at him."
The study determined that increased energy intake (+179 kcal/day) by children from 1977-2006 was associated with a major increase in calories eaten away from home (+255 kcal/day).
WHILE we watch the fabric of society slowly being eaten away by crime, injustice and Government failings, it is reassuring to know there are parts of this green and pleasant land that remain unspoilt and untouched.
Illegal logging has eaten away at the monarchs' Mexican habitat, white pesticides in the U.S.
Moreover, vegetable choices while dining out are less likely to match USDA guidance--fried potatoes make up approximately 35% of vegetables eaten away from home, compared with 10% of at-home vegetable consumption.
"Our budgets have been flatlined for at least eight years while inflation has eaten away at the income we do get," said Yves Savoie, executive director of the Family Service Association of Toronto.
THE STUDY SAID FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE CONSUMPTION CLIMB INCLUDE LARGER PORTION SIZES, MORE FOOD EATEN AWAY FROM HOME AND THE POPULARITY OF SALTY SNACKS, SOFT DRINKS AND PIZZA.
Becauseinvading tiny beetles had eaten away at the heart of the tree and decay had set in.
"If you're married, you get a marital deduction that defers the estate tax, which starts at 41%, until the second death; for a single person, the tax is due nine months after death." Women need to ensure that their estate is not eaten away by taxes and administrative costs, and they should also identify a guardian for their child.
EVERYONE remembers those appalling pictures of actress Daniella Westbrook, her nose eaten away by the amount of cocaine she'd pushed up it.
The creek is about 18 feet wide but owing to the current and the nature of the soil, the banks have been eaten away rapidly.
Today, the beach has been eaten away to less than a third of a mile wide.