peck at

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peck at

To eat something at a slow, unenthusiastic pace in very small bites. I wonder if Mary isn't feeling well—she only pecked at her dinner. He sat moodily at the table, pecking at the plate of vegetables his parent put in front of him.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

peck at something

 
1. Lit. [for a bird] to poke someone or something with its beak. The bird pecked at the ground, snatching up the ants. I tried to hold on to the bird but it pecked at me hard.
2. Fig. [for someone] to eat just a little bit of something, being as picky as a bird. Are you well, Betty? You are just pecking at your food. Please don't peck at your food. You should eat everything.
See also: peck
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

peck at

v.
To eat something unenthusiastically by taking small bites: The sullen child only pecked at his carrots.
See also: peck
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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