Mr. Hatfield had warned them that Mr. Merrimac might be inclined to whittle down the five hundred dollar pledge.
He admits of no exception to whittle down this great and divine law of love.
Money is the only thing that moves her, and when she has taken a bribe she will whittle down the service to the finest point.
He proposed to whittle down these claims by raising the number of Irish members in the United Parliament either to 127 or 141.
It would be midsummer madness to reject or whittle down a claim so backed.
Ive got to whittle down the end of the mast to make it fit in, declared Tom after a trial.
1550s, "to cut thin shavings from (something) with a knife," from Middle English whittel "a knife" (c1400), variant of thwittle (late 14c.), from Old English þwitan "to cut," from Proto-Germanic *thwitanan (cf. Old Norse þveita "to hew"). Figurative sense is attested from 1746. Related: Whittled; whittling.