whittle down

Definition of whittle down

:to gradually make (something) smaller by removing parts
  • We whittled the list down to four people.

Word by Word Definitions

whittle play
  1. : a large knife

  1. : to pare or cut off chips from the surface of (wood) with a knife

  2. : to shape or form by so paring or cutting

  3. : to reduce, remove, or destroy gradually as if by cutting off bits with a knife : pare

down play
  1. : toward or in a lower physical position

  2. : to a lying or sitting position

  3. : toward or to the ground, floor, or bottom

  1. : down (see 1down) along, around, through, toward, in, into, or on

  1. : to cause to go or come down (see 1down) : such as

  2. : to cause to fall by or as if by shooting : bring down

  3. : consume

  1. : occupying a low position

  2. : directed or going downward

  3. : lower in price

  1. : descent, depression

  2. : an instance of putting down someone (such as an opponent in wrestling)

  3. : a complete play to advance the ball

  1. : an undulating usually treeless upland with sparse soil

  2. : a sheep of any breed originating in the downs of southern England

  1. : a covering of soft fluffy feathers

  2. : something soft and fluffy like down

  1. : down syndrome


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