cut (someone) to pieces

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cut (someone) to pieces

1. To violently kill, severely maim, or incapacitate someone. The soldier was cut to pieces by the roadside bomb. The devastating disease cut her to pieces.
2. To completely overwhelm, defeat, or decimate. The team's star striker has been cutting their defense to pieces. The recession has cut to pieces the hopes of many young and older workers alike.
See also: cut, piece
References in classic literature ?
The head, neck, and shoulders of Mary were literally cut to pieces.
Many articles of clothing and a good part of my plate have since been picked up in different quarters of the town, lint the furniture in general was cut to pieces before it was thrown out of the house, and most of the beds cut open, and the feathers thrown out of the windows.
Men died of whisky; but then, too, fishermen were capsized and drowned, hoboes fell under trains and were cut to pieces.
This man, as I have said, made head of the army by the Syracusans, soon found out that a mercenary soldiery, constituted like our Italian condottieri, was of no use; and it appearing to him that he could neither keep them not let them go, he had them all cut to pieces, and afterwards made war with his own forces and not with aliens.
I begun to scream, and the men run to stop the horses, but the belt had sucked him down, and by the time they got her stopped, he was all beat and cut to pieces.
The mad joy over the prisoners who were saved, had astounded him scarcely less than the mad ferocity against those who were cut to pieces.
The Achaeans were cut to pieces, and Achaia loaded with chains, under which it is groaning at this hour.
The consequence is numberless disputes and conflicts between them and the bee hunters: and often a party of the latter, returning, laden with rich spoil, from one of their forays, are apt to be waylaid by the native lords of the soil; their honey to be seized, their harness cut to pieces, and themselves left to find their way home the best way they can, happy to escape with no greater personal harm than a sound rib-roasting.
He told how, long since in Palestine, a deadly feud arose between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of the Israelitish nation; and how they cut to pieces wellnigh all the chivalry of that tribe; and how they swore by our blessed Lady, that they would not permit those who remained to marry in their lineage; and how they became grieved for their vow, and sent to consult his holiness the Pope how they might be absolved from it; and how, by the advice of the Holy Father, the youth of the tribe of Benjamin carried off from a superb tournament all the ladies who were there present, and thus won them wives without the consent either of their brides or their brides' families.
Although Regulus had vowed that he was the only man of his regiment or of the allied army, almost, who had escaped being cut to pieces by Ney, it appeared that his statement was incorrect, and that a good number more of the supposed victims had survived the massacre.
He believed in a future in the service of D'Artagnan, and consequently would have allowed himself to be cut to pieces, rather than violate the order given by his leader.
The Austrian expedition--scientists, you know--got part way in before it was cut to pieces.
Look at the Austrian expedition that was cut to pieces in the Solomons, in the bush of Guadalcanar.
Twelve miles down the river, and cut to pieces besides,' replied Bumble, recoiling at the thought.
I do not remember Tydeus, for he was taken from us while I was yet a child, when the army of the Achaeans was cut to pieces before Thebes.