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hammer something out
1. Lit. to hammer a dent away; to make a dent even with the surrounding surface. I'm going to have to have someone hammer this dent in my fender out. It will take a while to hammer out the dent.
2. Lit. to expand something by hammering it thinner. He hammered the gold out into a very thin sheet. He hammered out the gold into thin sheets.
3. Fig. to arrive at an agreement through argument and negotiation. The two parties could not hammer a contract out. At last, we were able to hammer out an agreement.
4. Fig. to play something on the piano. She hammered the song out loudly and without feeling. Listen to John hammer out that song on the piano.
Work out with considerable effort, as in It took weeks of negotiations to hammer out an acceptable compromise. This usage likens intellectual effort to shaping metal with the blows of a hammer. [Mid-1700s]
1. To expand the surface area of something, as a metal, by striking it with a hammer: The artisan hammered out the copper plate before engraving it. The blacksmith started by hammering the iron out.
2. To arrive at some agreement after much discussion, argument or negotiation: The warring nations finally hammered out a treaty. The manager hammered a vacation schedule out that everyone liked.