do a number on somebody/something

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do a number on someone or something

Sl. to damage or harm someone or something. The teacher did a number on the whole class by giving them a pop quiz. Tom did a number on Mary when he went out with Ann.
See also: number, on

do a number on

treat someone badly, typically by deceiving, humiliating, or criticizing them in a calculated and thorough way. North American informal
See also: number, on

do a ˈnumber on somebody/something

(informal, especially American English) hurt, damage or criticize somebody/something seriously: Sun and pollution can really do a number on your skin.To the delight of Republicans, the press did a number on your senator (= criticized him severely).

do a number on something

1. tv. to urinate or defecate on something. Billy did a number on the bathroom floor.
2. tv. to damage or ruin something; to destroy something. The truck really did a number on my car.
See also: number, on, something

do a number on

Slang
To defeat, abuse, or humiliate in a calculated and thorough way.
See also: number, on