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English definition of “whittle away at sth”

whittle away at sth

phrasal verb with whittle     /ˈwɪt.l̩/ US  /ˈwɪt̬-/ verb [T]
to gradually reduce the size or importance of something: A series of new laws has gradually whittled away at the powers of the trade unions in this country.Becoming and making smaller or lessBecoming and making less strong
(Definition of whittle away at sth from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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