peel back

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peel back

To remove something partially or fully (from something's surface) by peeling it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "peel" and "back." I love peeling back the protective plastic they put on the screens of brand new smartphones. Be careful when you peel those stickers back, or you could rip the paper.
See also: back, peel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

peel something back (from something)

to lift something away from the surface of something. He peeled the sheets back from the bed and got in. He peeled back the sheets and got into the bed.
See also: back, peel
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The programme wasn't the same after he left and I, for one, am looking forward to some more layers being peeled back to reveal more of the mysterious Henrik Hanssen.
He said: "The roof of the van had been peeled back so earth could be dropped in."
It sat for almost 20 million years -- long after the lake had disappeared -- until the University of Idaho paleobotanist and his colleagues peeled back the remaining layers of water-saturated shale, exposing the still-green, unmineralized fossil to the warm rays of a forgotten sun.
After exposure, rubber was peeled back from the parts that survived and the percent rubber retention was recorded.
"We went into the courtyard and could see the seal peeled back and the machines tumbling clothes," said John Gorman, attorney for the tenants' group, who added the scene was videotaped and shown on local television news.
The release paper is peeled back and the transfer fuses to the substrate immediately, leaving no edges.
As part of RPC's one-stop service, RPC Halstead are supplying their dispensing Foodcaps for these bottles, with a flip-top and induction-sealed foil wad that can be peeled back in one easy movement.
In places it is punctured by bollards and peeled back to form benches, revealing glazed voids packed with multi-coloured fluorescent tubes that scintillate seductively with kaleidoscopic light.
Based on his reasoning in Ronald Bailey's interview, "avoidance" is an illusion when the onion of causality is peeled back. With an evolutionary recursion, every event is contingent upon previous events.
When the tines are open, the grapple resembles an orange being peeled back. These grapples are ideal for picking up a wide range of loose scrap.
Sneaking their appropriated figures in the back door of formalism, they peeled back a veneer to show us that all was a sham.
Layer after layer is peeled back until the reader is shown a world richly imagined and fully realized.
Aleta Hayes (Demeter, Persephone's mother), with her gut-wrenching singing voice and superb acting skills, became the emotional center of the piece, even surviving some too-clever episodes--in a fit of rage over her daughter's abduction, she ripped up the tape securing the white stage floor covering, which the dancers then peeled back in sheets to reveal black.
"I peeled back the paper and saw the date - September 9, 1969 - a staggering 49 years old and still partially intact.
Yet, European stocks peeled back into their close with the Euro Stoxx 50 off 0.47% and the German DAX plunging 1.16% on renewed political jitters.