pick away

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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 ?
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is picking away at the militant defenses in southwestern Idlib as they approach the town of Al-Hobeit near the Hama border.
Elgin kept picking away against Cronin, getting at least one hit in every inning but the fourth.
If you want to talk to her about it again, then do it but then agree not to keep picking away at it.
If you want to talk to her about it again, then do it, but then agree not to keep picking away at it.
Work from the center of the knot and out, picking away at it.
"A multitude of locations picking away at City jobs, however, suggests that a conglomeration of institutions may soon be a thing of the past," the report explained.
Alas I noticed through the window one day, Pigeons in the tree picking away, At barely formed cherries tiny and green, Me chasing them away was a constant scene.
Callan Stevens kept picking away at the lead with Surtees unable to catch a fish and extend his advantage, blanking again on the last match.
Once I'd established my credibility, I started picking away at my competitors.
Things can turn round quickly in a relentless league which has a habit of finding weaknesses and picking away until they are gaping holes.
Once you start picking away at one strand, it all falls apart.
They had that little sniff up-front, kept picking away and took that advantage, and frustrated us a bit.
Senate against Ted Cruz and are now picking away at the job he has done as lieutenant governor.
"We'll be picking away at it for a number of years," Butler said.