Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
take a chainsaw to (something)
1. To destroy something completely and mercilessly. He says the aim of his new film is to take a chainsaw to harmful stereotypes about his people. It's like they've taken a chainsaw to everything that made this town special, replacing it all with trendy shops and soulless condominiums.
2. To reduce the size, scope, or power of something immensely. The newly-elected governor vowed to take a chainsaw to the state's budget, which he claims has ballooned out of control. In a drastic attempt to bring in new customers, the bank has begun taking a chainsaw to the various fees and charges that it used to impose on all account holders.
3. To drastically alter or change something. I know my screenplay needs some work, but I don't think I need to take a chainsaw to it!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tv. to destroy something; to cut something up severely. The senatorial committee tried to chainsaw the nominee, but the full senate voted for confirmation.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.