been to the wars

been to the wars

Injured, damaged, decrepit, or appearing as such, as one might be who has fought in a war. Can be said of a person or a thing. This is a less common version of the phrase "been in the wars," meaning the same thing. Primarily heard in UK. How old is that junky computer of yours? It looks like it's been to the wars! That must have been one heck of a fight. You look like you've been to the wars!
See also: been, war

been to the wars

Show signs of rough treatment or injury, as in That car of yours looks as though it's been to the wars. This term dates from the late 1300s, when, however, it tended to be used literally. The figurative usage is more recent.
See also: been, war