Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. To shear something away from some surface, with or as with some kind of straight or mechanical blade. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shave" and "off." I've decided to shave off my mustache. He shaved a slice of cheese off and handed it to the child.
2. To reduce, remove, or eliminate some amount of something, especially a very small amount. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shave" and "off." I was pretty discouraged that, after spending all that time and energy training, I was only able to shave a couple seconds off my race time. Giving up milk and sugar in your coffee is a quick and easy way to shave off some calories from your diet.
tech Small, seemingly-insignificant tasks that need to be completed before a larger one can be done. I know you're waiting on me for the software update, I'm doing this yak shaving as fast as I can!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. To cut something, especially hair, from the surface of the skin with a razor or shaver: I shaved my beard off. I shaved off the stubble.
2. To remove or eliminate something in thin strips or small amounts using a blade: The woodworker used a planer to shave off the bark. I opened the coconut and shaved some of the meat off with a knife.
3. To eliminate some small amount of a total: This aerodynamic racing suit will shave off a full second from your time. She shaved ten seconds off the school's 100-meter dash record.
4. To limit deliberately the number of points scored by one's own team in an athletic contest, as in return for a payment from gamblers to ensure winnings: The rest of the team was sure that he was missing shots on purpose in order to shave points off for his gambling buddies. The police are investigating her for shaving off points in the championship game.
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.