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English definition of “eat away at something”

eat away at something

verb [I/T] phrasal verb with eat  /it/ ( past tense ate  /eɪt/, past participle eaten  /ˈi·tən/) us  
to slowly damage or destroy something: Waves had eaten away at the sand dunes.
(Definition of eat away at something from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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