beat (one's) brains out
beat (one's) brains out
1. To put forth one's maximum effort. I've been beating my brains out trying to get a passing grade this semester, so failing by two measly points is incredibly frustrating. Don't beat your brains out trying to please these people—they'll never appreciate it.
2. To physically attack one, as with punches and other blows, such that they suffer significant injury. This phrase can be used both literally and hyperbolically. I'm worried that the captain of the football team will beat my brains out if he finds out that I'm secretly seeing his girlfriend. As if I didn't feel bad enough after losing the case, my boss beat my brains out for it once I got back to the office.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
beat someone's brains out
1. to hit or batter someone severely. She threatened to beat my brains out. Those thugs nearly beat his brains out.
2. to drive oneself hard (to accomplish something). I beat my brains out all day to clean this house, and you come in and get dirt on the car-pet! Don't beat your brains out. Just give it a good try.
beat one's brains out (to do something)
to try very hard to do something. If you think I'm going to beat my brains out to do this, you are crazy. I beat out my brains to do this for you! Iwon't beat my brains out again for you!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
beat one's brains out
Make a great mental effort to understand, solve, or remember something, as in Joe's beating his brains out to finish this puzzle. Christopher Marlowe used this hyperbolic idiom in The Massacre of Paris (1593): "Guise beats his brains to catch us in his trap." Also see rack one's brains.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
beat your ˈbrains out(informal, especially American English) think very hard about something for a long time: I was beating my brains out all weekend trying to write the script.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
beat one’s brains outverb
beat someone’s brains out
1. tv. to beat someone severely. She threatened to beat my brains out.
2. tv. to drive oneself hard (to accomplish something). I beat my brains out all day to clean this house, and you come in and track up the carpet!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
beat (one's) brains (out)
Informal To exert or expend great mental effort: She beat her brains out during the examination.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
beat one's brains (out), to
A more colloquial version of cudgel one’s brains or rack one’s brain, meaning, like them, to strain to remember something or solve a difficult problem. It dates from the sixteenth century, when Christopher Marlowe wrote, “Guise beats his brains to catch us in his trap” (The Massacre of Paris, 1593, 1.1).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer