eat alive

eat (one) alive

1. Literally, to bite one excessively, as of insects. If you're out here at dusk, the mosquitos will eat you alive.
2. To overwhelm one and/or cause one to fail. Our team isn't very good, and I'm worried that the competition at this level will eat us alive.
3. To criticize one harshly. The teacher will eat you alive if you come in without your homework again today.
See also: alive, eat

eat (someone) alive

Slang
To overwhelm or defeat thoroughly: an inexperienced manager who was eaten alive in a competitive corporate environment.
See also: alive, eat
References in periodicals archive ?
These are six-inch-long beetles that you pull out of the water and eat alive.