through the mill

*through the mill

Fig. badly treated; abused and exhausted. (Fig. on a grain mill. *Typically: be ~; go ~; put someone ~; send someone ~.) This has been a rough day. I've really been through the mill. This old car is banged up, and it hardly runs. We really put it through the mill.
See also: mill

through the mill

Hardship or rough treatment, as in They put him through the mill, making him work at every one of the machines, or Jane was exhausted; she felt she'd been through the mill. This term alludes to being ground down like grain in a mill. [Late 1800s]
See also: mill

through the mill

mod. abused; well-worn. That was some convention. I’ve really been through the mill.
See also: mill
References in classic literature ?
Except one, which was apart from his necessary progress through the mill.