beat (one) to within an inch of (one's) life

(redirected from beaten to within an inch of their lives)

beat (one) to within an inch of (one's) life

To deliver a very violent and prolonged physical attack. This phrase can be used both literally and hyperbolically. Our neighbor is in the hospital because a burglar beat him to within an inch of his life. I'm worried that the captain of the football team will beat me to within an inch of my life if he finds out that I'm secretly seeing his girlfriend. If you ever scare me like that again, I'll beat you to within an inch of your life, I swear!
See also: beat, inch, life, of, within
References in periodicals archive ?
One agent said these men were responsible for murders near or in Deraa, but of course there's no way of knowing because I don't see a court system there, I don't see anything happening, all I hear is men being beaten to within an inch of their lives, crying out, being locked up in cell blocks," she said.
People are regularly beaten to within an inch of their lives.