mar

(redirected from marred)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

make or break someone

[of a task, job, career choice] to bring success to or improve, or ruin, someone. The army will either make or break him. It's a tough assignment, and it will either make or break her.
See also: break, make

mar something up

to dent or scratch something; to harm the smooth finish of something. Please don't mar the furniture up. Don't mar up my desk.
See also: mar, up

make or break something

to cause something to succeed or fail His opinion could make or break a Broadway play.
See also: break, make

make or break something

to make something a success or a failure TV will either make or break courtroom justice in this country.
See also: break, make

make or break

Cause either total success or total ruin, as in This assignment will make or break her as a reporter. This rhyming expression, first recorded in Charles Dickens's Barnaby Rudge (1840), has largely replaced the much older (16th-century) alliterative synonym make or mar, at least in America.
See also: break, make
References in classic literature ?
Rollo Finch--in the present unsatisfactory state of the law parents may still christen a child Rollo--was a youth to whom Nature had given a cheerful disposition not marred by any superfluity of brain.
If he had probed to the bottom of his vanity (as he sometimes nearly did) he would have found there the wish that his wife should be as worldly-wise and as eager to please as the married lady whose charms had held his fancy through two mildly agitated years; without, of course, any hint of the frailty which had so nearly marred that unhappy being's life, and had disarranged his own plans for a whole winter.
Every street in Horta is handsomely paved with the heavy Russ blocks, and the surface is neat and true as a floor--not marred by holes like Broadway.
Pickwick's benevolence in his appearance, marred only by the insincerity of the fixed smile and by the hard glitter of those restless and penetrating eyes.
They were bound to each other by a love stronger than any impulses which could have marred it.
He rattled and clanked a little, as he moved, but in the main he seemed to be most cleverly constructed, and his appearance was only marred by the thick coating of polishing-paste that covered him from head to foot.