eat (one) alive

(redirected from eat them alive)

eat (one) alive

1. To bite one excessively, as of insects. If you're out here at dusk, the mosquitos will eat you alive.
2. To overwhelm and/or easily defeat one due to being more aggressive, powerful, etc. Our team isn't very good, and I'm worried that the competition at this level will eat us alive. Lena is so meek, I worry about her moving to the city. They're going to eat her alive.
3. To criticize one harshly. The teacher will eat you alive if you come in without your homework again today.
See also: alive, eat

eat somebody aˈlive

(informal)
1 (also have/eat somebody for ˈbreakfast) criticize or punish somebody severely because you are extremely angry with them
2 (also have/eat somebody for ˈbreakfast) defeat somebody completely in an argument, a competition, etc: The defence lawyers are going to eat you alive tomorrow.The union leader eats managers for breakfast!
3 (usually used in the passive) (of insects, etc.) bite somebody many times: I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
See also: alive, eat, somebody

eat (someone) alive

Slang
To overwhelm or defeat thoroughly: an inexperienced manager who was eaten alive in a competitive corporate environment.
See also: alive, eat
References in periodicals archive ?
Expect a massive improvement against Italy because if England don't step up from this, Wales will eat them alive.
Worst of all they are subject to attack by maggots that literally eat them alive and necessitates docking their tails and dipping them in toxic chemicals.
By the time they finished, they were immersed in a violent world where some raptors dismember their prey and eat them alive.
We have no right to eat them alive for the purposes of cheap entertainment.
But the giant is not what he seems and, far from being a horrible ogre who wants to eat them alive, he is a kindly and friendly soul with a fantastic story to tell.
Otherwise, they'd realize instantly that this town's itching to eat them alive - some well-fed pigs help keep the body count from becoming too obvious - and vamoose.
The foxes do not necessarily kill their victims but eat them alive.
I don't eat them alive, I let them drown happily and then eat them with beer or with toast.
Most men I know would happily sleep with her, even knowing she would eat them alive afterwards.