eat away at
eat away at
transitive verb phrase
1. (to destroy) 
a. roer 
The mice have been eating away at the rug in the basement.Los ratones han estado royendo la alfombra en el sótano.
b. desgastar 
Over the years, the waves eat away at the rocks, which forms sand.Al transcurrir de los años, las olas desgastan las rocas, formando la arena.
c. corroer (chemical) 
The salt they put on the roads in the winter here really eats away at the paint on your car.La sal que esparcen por las calles aquí en invierno corroe mucho la pintura del carro.
d. comerse 
Why did you take those old suits from your dad's attic? Now there are moths eating away at all our clothes!¿Por qué te llevaste esos trajes viejos del desván de tu padre? ¡Ahora las polillas se están comiendo toda nuestra ropa!
2. (figurative) (to torment) 
a. consumir 
The feelings of guilt over what he had done were eating away at him.Le consumían los sentimientos de culpabilidad por lo que había hecho.
eat away at
intransitive verb
1 [+waves, sea] desgastar
...as he watched the waves eat away at a crumbling sea wall on Northey Island
[+acid, rust] corroer; [+rot, damp] comerse
...hydrochloric acid that eats away at the metal to form the pattern of tiny holes Water pours through the roof, encouraging /rot to eat away at the interior of the house/
[+mice etc] roer; [+insect pest] comerse; devorar
Anthracnose eats away at leaf tissue leaving dark oval spots ...this deadly pest, which tunnels into bulbs and eats away at the centre
2 devorar
The recession is eating away at their revenues ...the wretched disease of racism eating away at the core of British society ...a cancer eating away at society
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