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shave off

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.
See also: off, shave

yak shaving

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!
See also: shaving, yak
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shave off

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.
See also: off, shave
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A THESE days, most stables use wood shavings as bedding rather than traditional straw.
Aberdeenshire vet and sheep farmer David Miskelly, has recently used STOCKMAX Pine Shavings in his lambing pens.
The characteristics of iron shavings differed from iron powder greatly, and there has been no research reports concerning the potential reduction processes and mechanisms of chlorinated hydrocarbons by iron shavings.
Cedar shavings are more practical for city dog owners because they're available at hardware or pet store outlets.
The committee thus drew a line under a debate that has been raging for more than ten years, validating the legal framework proposed by the European Commission to authorise the use of oak shavings in the manufacture of wine.
"They had started buying shavings off me, then became agents but unfortunately there were insurmountable problems with the equipment," he said.
Typically, these occur through exposure of horses to black walnut shavings used at bedding in stalls.
Contaminated oil with metal shavings will clog the screen in the transmission system's magnetic strainer.
Because we use wood shavings for our horses' bedding, I decided to try them in the covered litter box in our bathroom.
Arden Wood Shavings, of Kenilworth Road, Hampton-inArden has bought back the General Chip label, a product well known in equine circles for 40 years but unavailable since 1996.
Arden Wood Shavings, of Hampton in Arden, inherited the old General Chip brand of bedding product for horses when it took over the original manufacturer seven years ago.
For years we have bedded our horses and donkey on shavings. The storage of a dump truck load of shavings has always been a problem.
Top with some anchovies and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, arrange some Stilton cheese around the dish and garnish with chervil.
Exotic woods are colorful, but it's nearly impossible to plane long, smooth shavings from species that have a wild or inconsistent grain.
HORSE bedding company Bedmax has reached a milestone with the manufacture of its 10 millionth bale of shavings. Placed end to end, its total output would now reach from the company's head office in Belford, Northumberland, to Ottawa in Canada.