hack away

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hack away

To cut away at something and remove pieces of it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "away." Who is going to hack away pieces of turkey this Thanksgiving? Hack these weeds away so we can plant in the garden.
See also: away, hack
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hack away

v.
1. To remove something with blows from a sharp instrument: The lumberjack hacked away the larger limbs from the tree before felling it. The gardener used a large pair of shears to hack the dead twigs away.
2. hack away at To reduce or attempt to reduce something in size by chopping off pieces of it: The butcher hacked away at the side of beef to remove the fat.
3. hack away at To reduce something gradually by working at it continuously: I'm hacking away at the pile of reports on my desk.
See also: away, hack
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
And over all this he worked, hacking away at the tough and slippery oiled silk and clinging stoutly to the netting.
RHOD Gilbert has accused the Government of "a deliberate hacking away at almost all public and social services until there is nothing left" as he called for improved funding for dementia care.
This was a continuity Budget, continuing the Tory project of hacking away at our country's backbone and gifting tax cuts to the rich.
The killer had gone to great lengths to disguise his victim's identity, even repeatedly hacking away facial features with a machete.
But Ms Dugdale says, the Labour government in Scotland would steer away from hacking away at the levy as it means "handing a tax cut to big business".
"Deliberately hacking away at the support for working families is clearly the wrong road to take.
The re-elected Tory Government must be stopped from hacking away at people's dignity like this - before the safety net is cut completely loose.
It takes more than just hacking away at a few odd branches to make it better...the ongoing commitment and the ongoing work of reconciliation is required.
There were about four men working on it, hacking away at the lower branches.
There you are, hacking away at the keyboard late into the night at the desk.
This is a cruel blow, hacking away at the retirement incomes of workers with disabilities.
Ten-hour shifts, crouched in the cold and wet, hacking away to keep a roof over their family's head and food on their plates.
They had spent three months hacking away at the lock on their cell using a using small saw that had been smuggled in to them.
Mr Cameron talks like some gangster hacking away with a machete.