bust something up

bust up

1. To come apart in pieces. The house is so old that the plaster on this wall has busted up—there are bits of it all over the floor.
2. To end a partnership of some kind, often a romantic relationship. I'm so sad to hear that Mara and John busted up—I thought those two would be together forever. The Beatles busting up is considered a pivotal moment in rock history.
3. To induce the end of a partnership of some kind, often a romantic relationship. I heard that constant dishonesty busted up their marriage.
4. To deliver a violent physical attack. In this usage, a person's name or pronoun is often, but not always, used between "bust" and "up." The captain of the football team swore he would bust me up if I ever talked to his girlfriend again. I can't believe that skinny kid busted up the school bully!
See also: bust, up

bust something up

tv. to ruin a marriage by coming between the married people. He busted their marriage up by starting rumors about Maggie.
See also: bust, something, up