wear away

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wear away

1. To become eroded, dissolved, or stripped away from exposure to some destructive element or force. The enamel on your teeth has worn almost completely away, which is why you've been experiencing so much pain when you eat and drink. Over the course of several centuries, the coastline wore away until the small village was completely consumed by the sea.
2. To erode, dissolve, or strip away something as a result of exposure to some destructive element or force. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wear" and "away." The extreme weather in this area will wear that cheap paint away in a matter of weeks. Rust has completely worn away the underside of the car.
See also: away, wear

wear something away

to erode something. The constant rains wore the side of the cathedral away. The flooding wore away the topsail.
See also: away, wear

wear away

v.
1. To erode or consume something by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure: The sea is wearing away the rocks. Repeated washings have worn the fabric away. The tough climate wears away at the roof.
2. To be gradually eroded or consumed by long or hard use, attrition, or exposure: The paint on the house is wearing away.
See also: away, wear
References in classic literature ?
On the way there the Wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part of the Dog's neck was very much worn away, so he asked him how that had come about.
At last the base of the cliff is undermined, huge fragments fall down, and these remaining fixed, have to be worn away, atom by atom, until reduced in size they can be rolled about by the waves, and then are more quickly ground into pebbles, sand, or mud.
He who most closely studies the action of the sea on our shores, will, I believe, be most deeply impressed with the slowness with which rocky coasts are worn away. The observations on this head by Hugh Miller, and by that excellent observer Mr.
It is not easy to express the benevolence and tenderness with which they embraced us, and the concern they showed at seeing us worn away with hunger, labour, and weariness, our clothes tattered, and our feet bloody.
We have now been full two years united; the 'romance' of our attachment must be worn away. Surely I have now got down to the lowest gradation in Arthur's affection, and discovered all the evils of his nature: if there be any further change, it must be for the better, as we become still more accustomed to each other; surely we shall find no lower depth than this.
And I couldn't bear to see our love worn away by the daily dropping of tears, not to speak of its being rent by the dynamite of daily quarrels.
With some men it needs a cataclysm, as a stone may be broken to fragments by the fury of a torrent; but with some it comes gradually, as a stone may be worn away by the ceaseless fall of a drop of water.
In former times a long spit of this nature seems to have become consolidated by the percolation of calcareous matter, and afterwards to have been gradually upheaved; the outer and loose parts during this process having been worn away by the action of the sea, and the solid nucleus left as we now see it.
An empty egg-basket was slung upon his arm, the nap of his hat was ruffled, a patch being quite worn away at its brim where his thumb came in taking it off.
As the weather grew warmer it was not sensibly worn away by the water, nor broken up and floated off as in rivers, but, though it was completely melted for half a rod in width about the shore, the middle was merely honeycombed and saturated with water, so that you could put your foot through it when six inches thick; but by the next day evening, perhaps, after a warm rain followed by fog, it would have wholly disappeared, all gone off with the fog, spirited away.
"So!" she said, without being startled or surprised; "the days have worn away, have they?"
'That stone has worn away and been replaced by others, and many generations have come and gone since then.
He whose intellect was thus supreme, Raoul, was the actual sovereign; the other, nothing but a phantom to whom he lent a soul; and yet, so powerful is majesty amongst us, this man has not even the honor of a tomb at the feet of him in whose service his life was worn away. Remember, Raoul, this!
Other voices, silent till now, struck in from boughs lower down and higher up and midway, and to the right and left, and from the tree-tops; and others, arriving hastily from the grey church turrets and old belfry window, joined the clamour which rose and fell, and swelled and dropped again, and still went on; and all this noisy contention amidst a skimming to and fro, and lighting on fresh branches, and frequent change of place, which satirised the old restlessness of those who lay so still beneath the moss and turf below, and the strife in which they had worn away their lives.
The skull and the upper bones lay beside it in the thick dust, and in one place, where rain-water had dropped through a leak in the roof, the thing itself had been worn away. Further in the gallery was the huge skeleton barrel of a Brontosaurus.