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1. To cut something into pieces, often in a clumsy or sloppy manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "up." We need to hack up these big branches.
2. To wreck, mar, or otherwise spoil something's appearance, usually by cutting. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "up." I'll never use that landscaper again, not with the way he hacked up my poor bushes!
3. To expel something by coughing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hack" and "up." Gross, my cat just hacked up another hairball.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hack something up
1. Lit. to chop something up into pieces. (Refers often to wood.) Hack all this old furniture up, and we'll burn it in the fireplace. Hack up this stuff, and we'll burn it.
2. Fig. to damage or mangle something. Who hacked my windowsill up? Who hacked up my table?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To cut or chop something into pieces, usually with little care: The cook hacked up the potatoes and dumped them in the pot. We hacked the wood up and threw it in the fireplace.
2. To mangle or disfigure something, especially by cutting: That barber hacked up your hair badly! I accidentally hacked the shrubs up with the electric clippers.
3. To force something from the throat or lungs and out of the mouth by coughing: The patient hacked some phlegm up. My cat hacked up some blood, so I made an appointment with the vet.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.