little by little
bit by bit, incrementally, step by step
Adverb little by little A small amount at a time. 1861, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, ch. 59: Everything else has gone from me, little by little, but I have kept this. 1905, P. G. Wodehouse, The Head of Kay's, ch. 13: Little by little his head cleared, and he began once more to take a personal interest in the battle. 2011 March 6, Jack Healy, "Baghdad Neighborhood Celebrates as a Wall Is Taken Away," New York Times (retrieved 22 Nov 2011): Iraq's government has been removing blast walls little by little since late 2008, trying to restore a semblance of normalcy to this bunker city.
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