settle a score with

settle a score (with someone)

To get vengeance (on someone) for a past wrong or grievance; to punish someone for causing one harm or misfortune in the past. The former champion entered the competition looking to settle a score with the young player who dethroned him in the previous tournament. After five years in hiding from the law, Hofstadter decided it was time to return to town and settle a score.
See also: score, settle

settle a score with someone

 and settle the score (with someone)
Fig. to clear up a problem with someone; to get even with someone. John wants to settle a score with his neighbor. Tom, it's time you and I settled the score.
See also: score, settle