beat up(redirected from beating up on them)
beat (oneself) up
To continually criticize or question oneself, usually about something that one cannot change. Oh, honey, I know you're upset about failing the driver's license test, but try not to beat yourself up too much. I've been really beating myself up about that fight I had with my mom. I wish I could take back a lot of the things I said.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
beat someone up
to harm or subdue a person by striking him. The robber beat me up and took my money. I really wanted to beat up that intruder.
beat something up
1. to whip up something, such as an egg. Beat the egg up and pour it in the skillet. Beat up another egg and do the same.
2. to ruin something; to damage something. The banging of the door has really beat this wall up. The frequent pounding of the door handle beat up the wall.
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!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Strike repeatedly, as in She told the police her husband had beaten her up. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
2. Also, beat up on. Attack verbally, as in That newspaper article really beat up on the town council. [Slang; late 1900s]
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.
mod. visibly worn; shabby. (This is hyphenated before a nominal.) Get your beat-up car painted or something!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
beat up on
1. To attack physically.
2. To criticize or scold harshly.
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.