Definition of carve something out in US English:

carve something out

phrasal verb

  • 1Take something from a larger whole, especially with difficulty.

    ‘carving out a 5 percent share of the overall vote’
    • ‘But since it's difficult to carve a conspiracy theory out of events as straightforward as those, he chooses to misrepresent what occurred.’
    • ‘Train services were carved up into 25 franchises and offered to new companies on seven-year contracts.’
    • ‘A casualty of the post-war mania for partitioning flats, the space had been carved up into claustrophobic rooms.’
    • ‘More than 20 years ago the business was carved up, with Tom assuming control of the hide and leather business, while Louis and John concentrated on property, rendering, pig-breeding and cattle.’
  • 2Establish or create something through painstaking effort.

    ‘he managed to carve out a successful photographic career for himself’
    • ‘And if it weren't for the rest of us, most of them wouldn't get very far trying to carve their living out of the raw earth.’
    • ‘At half-time yesterday, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone at Malleny Park who would have bet money on Boroughmuir carving a win out of this match.’
    • ‘Paramount Classics was created and carved a niche out for itself in the manically frugal Jon Dolgen era where they did as was demanded of them… they earned a decent return on investment and never lost the company money.’
    • ‘Historian Brian M. Linn of Texas A & M University has carved an academic niche out of that long-ago campaign, with two books to his credit.’
    • ‘Far from the gurnings of a sulky celebrity, such a public tirade is typical of a man who has carved a career out of words as well as actions.’
    • ‘This idea of the rugged individualist, the person who takes care of business on their own, has their own gun and protects their own family and carves a life out of the wilderness.’
    • ‘I told myself I was going to carve a book out of this mass of papers.’
    • ‘Jim Milton, the doyen of crisis management, is bringing his decades of experience to bear in a bid to calm bothered executives and carve a path out of the troubles.’