student asking question

What does "peel back" mean and when's it used?


Native speaker’s answer


To "peel back layers of something" means to reveal or uncover something, usually something that is hidden deeply or hard to find. This expression is a reference to onions, which have many layers! Ex: Getting to know her is like peeling back the layers of an onion. Ex: Once you peel back different layers of complexity, you can reveal the core.

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