scratch away

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scratch away

1. To remove something (from something else) by scraping with something hard, sharp, or abrasive. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scratch" and "away." I was left with a scar because I kept scratching the scab away. You can use a coin to scratch away the grey strip to reveal whether or not you won the prize.
2. To scrape something or some surface steadily or continuously with something hard, sharp, or abrasive. We've been scratching away for nearly an hour, but this rust just won't come off. The dog scratched away at the door, whining to be let out into the back yard.
See also: away, scratch

scratch something away

to rub or scrape something off by scratching. Look at the finish on this furniture. The cat has almost scratched it away! That cat scratched away the finish on the table!
See also: away, scratch
References in classic literature ?
An hour afterward her mother peeped in and there she was, scratching away, with her black pinafore on, and an absorbed expression, which caused Mrs.
After presenting her date Georgia (with an i) with a scratch card she'd bought as a romantic gift, the beautician was ecstatic after scratching away to reveal she'd won a whopping one hundred thousand pounds!
"I've had to pull the carpet up and bin it and I can hear them at night, scratching away and chewing through stuff.
But if the Jags were to win the night before, it would leave McCann's men clawing and scratching away from Alan Archibald's side as we go into the business end of the season.
Keep scratching away though and you'll start to find that each of the five are doing things based on their misperceptions of the others and perceptions of themselves.
"I was struggling to sleep at night; it was like someone was scratching away with a little knife around your groin.
TV chef Delia Smith on the EU debate "I'm definitely scratching away at the itch."
we're going to get rid of the ball and we might change the grass" Broadcaster Chris Evans on the revised format for the new version of Top Gear "I get the feeling there's a lot of kind of grumpy old people who are going to vote to take us out of the EU" Andy Burnham, Shadow Home Secretary "I'm definitely scratching away at the itch" Actor Tom Hiddleston, on his desire to return to the West End stage "It would be a very dangerous experiment" Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's reaction to the idea of Jeremy Corbyn forming a Government "The now daily dose of scare tactics simply beggars belief, and do you know what?
We have always been hitting brick doors but now, slowly but surely, we are scratching away at it."
The other night, after about an hour of her scratching away and sounding words out phonetically as she wrote them, she handed me a sheet of paper, looking for a critique of her new story.
Before, when they'd get back after a long day of hard labour, they'd be up all night scratching away because of the bedbugs and lice.
I pictured myself scratching away with a trowel and finding priceless gold torcs and other trinkets.
For some works, he drew directly onto the surfaces of his negatives, scratching away or adding lines and blanking out areas.
They tend to just keep scratching away fruitlessly at the transparent sides [of the container] rather than going straight for the opaque part that will give them the reward."
Instead of scratching away at the wood fibers, the belt will rip them out.