Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
have at (someone or something)
1. To strike or attack someone or something. The two boys had at each other until the teacher arrived to break up the fight.
2. To attempt or try to do something. Now that finals are over, I need to have at cleaning up my room.
3. To do something with energy and enthusiasm. It didn't take long for the kids to have at the cupcakes I'd set out. If you want to paint, have at it! All the supplies are still out.
have at someone
to go at someone; to attack someone. The boys had at the gang members and gave them a beating. I just knew John was going to have at Fred.
Attack; also, make an attempt at. For example, Urging the dog on, he said, " Go on, Rover, have at him," or It's time to have at straightening out these files. [Late 1300s]
To engage something in a vigorous, enthusiastic, or aggressive way: Here's the work you need to do, so have at it! The dog really had at the bones that were left in the garbage. The teacher took me aside and had at me for my bad behavior.