settle a score/an account

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

settle a score

or

settle an old score

COMMON If someone settles a score or settles an old score, they take revenge for something that someone has done to them in the past. Phillips insists he's not interested in settling a score against the team that fired him a couple of months ago. Waters had only been out of jail three weeks when he and two friends went to settle an old score with a man he had met in prison. Note: You can talk about people or groups being involved in score-settling or the settling of scores. What is happening now is score-settling and there is little hope of an end to it. What we are witnessing here is the settling of scores.
See also: score, settle

settle an account

or

settle accounts

If you settle an account or settle accounts with an enemy or opponent, you bring your fight or argument to an end by defeating them. She had an account to settle with her family. He told me to give up my desire to settle accounts with the person who had injured me. Note: The verb square is sometimes used instead of settle. The team was determined to square the account in this match.
See also: account, settle

settle (or pay) a (or the) score

take revenge on someone for something damaging that they have done in the past.
See also: score, settle

settle a ˈscore/an acˈcount (with somebody)

,

settle an old ˈscore

hurt or punish somebody who has harmed or cheated you in the past; get revenge: I’ve got a score to settle with him after the terrible things he said about my girlfriend.Before he left the school, he wanted to settle an old score with one of his classmates. OPPOSITE: call it quits
See also: account, score, settle