settle a score


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Related to settle a score: without a hitch, gunning for, pay a visit

settle a score

also settle old scores
to punish someone because they have done something to hurt you in the past Muhammad Ali was eager to settle a score with Joe Frazier. After losing the race for mayor four years ago, running again this year was partly a matter of settling old scores.
Usage notes: often used in the form have a score to settle: The family was mistreated, and they have a score to settle with the government.
Related vocabulary: get even (with somebody)
See also: score, settle

settle a score

to harm someone who has harmed you in the past (often + with ) Police believe the killer was a gang member settling a score with a rival gang.
See also: score, settle

settle a score

Also, settle or wipe out an old score or scores . Get even, avenge a grievance or an injury. For example, Wendy settled an old score with Bill when she made him wait for half an hour in the rain . These expressions, dating from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, all use score in the sense of "an account" or "bill." Also see pay off, def. 3.
See also: score, settle