settle a score (with someone)

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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

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