eat away at

Idioms & Phrases

eat away at

Destroy gradually, erode; also, worry one constantly. For example, The sea has been eating away at the outer banks for years, or The fact that he failed the test is eating away at him. [Early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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