Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “whittle away at sth”

See all translations

whittle away at sth

verb [T] uk phrasal verb with whittle   /ˈwɪt.l̩/ us    /ˈwɪt̬-/
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.
Translations of “whittle away at sth”
in Chinese (Traditional) 削減, 削弱…
in Chinese (Simplified) 削减, 削弱…
(Definition of whittle away at sth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of whittle away at sth?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

lamb

a young sheep, or the flesh of a young sheep eaten as meat

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More