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 ?
Conscience eats away at one of the witnesses, who already blames himself for the tragic accident that left his sister in a coma.
I hope now Robert Thompson is a dad himself he is imagining how he'd feel if the same happened to his child and I hope it eats away at him.
Excessive indignation eats away at our faith and loyalty to the Church, through which we receive the Grace of God, beyond which everything else is trivial
Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, eats away the brains of cattle.
They nurse their hurt until it becomes hatred and that hatred eats away at them until they become bitter.
From wet basements to spalling caused by water freezing and thawing in brick cavity walls, moisture eats away at the homes you build.
RACE hate is a cancer that wrecks lives and eats away at people of all colours.