hammer away at

hammer away at (someone)

To intensely or vigorously interrogate someone. My parents wouldn't stop hammering away at me with questions as I was heading out the door—I thought I'd never be able to leave! Would you stop hammering away at me with questions? I don't know where he is!
See also: away, hammer

hammer away at (something)

1. To strike something repeatedly The mechanic hammered away at the dent in my door. I hammered away at the beef with a meat tenderizer.
2. To work hard on something persistently over time. Yes, we're still hammering away at the details of this contract.
3. To talk about something at length, often to the listener's annoyance. Quit hammering away at that topic—no one wants to hear about it anymore.
See also: away, hammer
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hammer away at

Keep at something continuously, as in The reporters hammered away at the candidate. This phrase employs hammer in the sense of "beat repeatedly," a usage dating from the mid-1600s.
See also: away, hammer
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
As not one of the natives had soul enough in him to stand up like a man, and allow me to hammer away at him, for my own personal gratification and that of the king, I was necessitated to fight with an imaginary enemy, whom I invariably made to knock under to my superior prowess.
The controls are fairly standard but nice and responsive and it's a blast to hammer away at the scumbags on the streets.
"If you tried to hammer away at one facet of a side's play, whoever you were up against, you would probably fall flat on your face.
Tracing a line back to the legendary Daley Thompson's Decathlon, Athens 2004 sees you hammer away at joypad buttons while timing take-offs and so on.
This is the question I ponder as I hammer away at my joypad in order to make my cyclist go faster than the others.
Since taking office, he has used every weapon at his disposal to hammer away at the church-state wall.
As we all know, stress can also become chronic when the everyday battles you fight at work, on the road, and at home hammer away at your peace of mind.
Hence, presidential hopefuls Pat Buchanan and Bill Bradley continue to hammer away at themes such as corporate downsizing and the export of "good-paying" jobs overseas.
Scientists have continued to hammer away at the so-called Philadelphia chromosome, a shortened chromosome 22.
Women earn a greater percentage compared to men in contemporary society than at the height of the explosion of feminism at the end of the sixties, but the religious right continues to hammer away at reproductive rights and so-called family values to have women behave as if they and we were living in the fifties.
Microsoft Corp continued to hammer away at the browser issue in the antitrust case in Washington yesterday.
Still watched the Bees hammer away at the visitor's goal and declared: "If we play with the same spirit and drive that we showed today, we're still in with a good chance."
It can hammer away at the reserves of snobbery that keep its readers from devoting their time and attention to the political fortunes of neoliberalism.
A team of about 40 guys hammer away at the title for around 18 months, drawing, planning, scheming, testing and polishing it until they have a bug-free work of art.