do a number on somebody/something
do a number on someone or something
Sl. to damage or harm someone or something. The teacher did a number on the whole class by giving them a pop quiz. Tom did a number on Mary when he went out with Ann.
do a number ontreat someone badly, typically by deceiving, humiliating, or criticizing them in a calculated and thorough way. North American informal
do a ˈnumber on somebody/something(informal, especially American English) hurt, damage or criticize somebody/something seriously: Sun and pollution can really do a number on your skin. ♢ To the delight of Republicans, the press did a number on your senator (= criticized him severely).
do a number on something
1. tv. to urinate or defecate on something. Billy did a number on the bathroom floor.
2. tv. to damage or ruin something; to destroy something. The truck really did a number on my car.
do a number onSlang
To defeat, abuse, or humiliate in a calculated and thorough way.