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.
See also: beat, brain, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: beat, brain, out
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 one’s brains out

verb
See also: beat, brain, out
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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