pick away

pick away

To remove something by picking it, usually with one's fingers. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pick" and "away." The child sat picking raisins away from her cookie. I had to pick away the cat hair from my suit before the interview.
See also: away, pick

pick something away

to pull or pinch something loose from something. Mary picked the meat away from the bones. He picked away the burrs.
See also: away, pick
References in periodicals archive ?
"Today I thought, right, I'll just go and enjoy myself and try to pick away a few holes where there are opportunities.
As long as the Government continues to pick away at the edges of the already dwindling aid budget, it will become harder and harder to fund programs and help stamp out the scourge of violence against children.
I didn't want them to double-team me, that's why I called the pick away.
"That's why a lot of men around the ball because people couldn't get the first pick away."
The 2011 champions face a gruelling task to pick away a result, but Al Sadd are quite familiar with the terrain, having defeated Persepolis' arch-rivals Esteghlal 3-1 in Tehran in the quarter-final first leg.
The journeymen cover up a lot and are hard to break down whereas someone like this will come to win and when he throws his shots I'll be able to pick away at the gaps that he leaves.
The vigil was broadcast across the nation as rescue workers struggled in rain and darkness to pick away unstable debris to reach her.
When those he loves pick away at the thread of tradition, his choices become more and more impossible to make.
Other efforts to pick away at the Driver Responsibility Program were also floated but appear similarly stalled as the session winds down.
He wants to pick away at the mounting allegations that officers were quietly going out of control as they infiltrated activist groups and unions.
We can all pick away at the make-up of the squad and the standard of the opposition, but they beat what was in front of them and played as a team.
The Elite and the Carnival will have the first two picks in the coming Draft, but Blackwater already gave its first pick away.
Inshore, redfish continue to roam the flats and pick away at oyster bars.
1 pick, debunking numerous reports that the rebuilding club was torn between two injured centers or trading the pick away.
They can still counter when necessary, but are now encouraged to pick away at opponents at their own will and convenience.