beat up on
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1. verb To physically attack someone, as with punches and other blows, such that they suffer significant injury. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "beat" and "up." The captain of the football team swore he would beat me up if I ever talked to his girlfriend again. I can't believe that skinny kid beat up the school bully!
2. verb To defeat an opponent easily and/or by a wide margin. In this usage, the phrase is often followed by "on." The final score was 17-1? Wow, we really beat up on that team! I got beat up by a much more highly ranked opponent in the first round.
3. verb To criticize someone harshly and/or continually. In this usage, the phrase is often followed by "on." Mom, I know you're disappointed in Stephanie's grades, but quit beating up on her—she feels bad enough as it is. I haven't made many sales this year, so I expect to get beat up in my performance review.
4. verb To damage or wear out from heavy use. I'm afraid I tend to beat up my shoes really quickly.
5. adjective Showing signs of wear or damage, as from heavy use. The phrase is typically hyphenated before a noun. Can we throw away these beat-up old notebooks already? The old car looks really beat up, but it runs pretty well.
beat up on someone
to batter someone, usually physically. Lefty beat up on Max and made a mess of him. Don't beat up on me, you bully!
beat up on
1. To attack physically.
2. To criticize or scold harshly.