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Related to tear up: TEER
tear someone up
Fig. to cause someone much grief. (See also tear someone apart.) The news of Tom's death really tore Bill up. Bad news tears up some people. Other people can take it calmly.
tear something up
to rip someone or something to pieces. The two drunks tore the bar up in their brawling. The dog tore up the newspaper.
1. To tear something to pieces: The principal tore up the note so no one could read it. I tore the newspaper up to make a nest for my pet hamster.
2. To nullify some legal agreement: The parties reached a compromise and tore up the old contract. We couldn't settle the case, so we tore the agreement up.
3. To make an opening in something: The workers tore up the sidewalk to add a drain. The committee condemned the unsafe playground and had some workers come to tear it up.
4. To damage someone or something by or as if by tearing: The puppy tore up the furniture. The kids tore the couch up.
5. To ravage or devastate something: The typhoon tore up the islands. This beach has eroded because a storm tore it up.
6. To distress someone greatly: It tears me up to think he won't be coming home. It tears up the students when they think about the football game that they lost.
7. To excel at some place or competition: The team tore up the chess tournament and won a medal. Our school had the winning team—we tore the competition up.
1. To have tears well in the eyes: During the funeral, the mourners started to tear up.
2. To cause someone to have tears well in the eyes: I always bring tissues to sad movies because they really tear me up.