By the time the House and Senate agreed to a farm bill last month, that was whittled down to $8.7 billion over 10 years.
Waists have been whittled, skin lightened, and breasts enhanced to ridiculous proportions.
With Thriller, we took 800 songs and whittled them down to nine.
The longlists are whittled down to shortlists of five during the intense all-day January board meeting.
“I almost died twice today,” Shane exclaims, after beheading the snake with a pointed stick he whittled to a spear.
"State yo' case," commanded the judge, as he tried the point of his splinter against his thumb to test its whittled sharpness.
He took out his knife and whittled through the hoops of a barrel.
The second whittled the difference down to a question of not very important figures, on which Parliament must soon decide.
He warmed the remaining half-can of salmon and whittled at his nubbin of bread.
A wildly improbable development had been whittled down to a five-to-one chance.
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.