hack (something) to smithereens

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hack (something) to smithereens

To alter something significantly by removing pieces of it, often in a clumsy or aggressive manner. Can be used literally or figuratively. ("Smithereens," meaning "bits," comes from Irish Gaelic.) Quit hacking the roast to smithereens and just let Dad cut it, will you? I thought I'd written a strong proposal—until my boss hacked it to smithereens, that is.
See also: hack, smithereens