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I don't understand the meaning of this idiom.

"I glanced sideways at the beautiful boy, who was looking at his tray now, picking a bagel to pieces with long, pale fingers".

I found a definition on wordreference but doesn't seem correct:to pull or pinch at someone or something until only pieces are left. if anybody could help?

  • Sorry i made a careless mistake in the tittle. Is this and not his – Elo Aug 20 '17 at 7:46
  • You can click the little edit link at the bottom of your question to fix the title. You may also want to format the quoted sentence as a quotation instead of as inline code. Get rid of the back ticks and start the line with > to do that. – cjl750 Aug 20 '17 at 7:53
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I think the definition you found is exactly correct:

to pull or pinch at someone or something until only pieces are left

There is no idiom here. The boy is literally picking at the bagel, breaking it up into little pieces.

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