whittle away - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [intransitive/transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theywhittle away
he/she/itwhittles away
present participlewhittling away
past tensewhittled away
past participlewhittled away
  1. to gradually reduce the amount or importance of something

    The team saw their lead whittled away during the second half.

    whittle away at:

    The government is whittling away at the rights of citizens.

See also main entry: whittle