put through the wringer
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be put through the wringer
To be subjected to some ordeal, difficulty, trial, or punishment; to undergo an unpleasant experience. Between my mother's bout with cancer, Jenny losing her job, and the bank threatening to foreclose on the house, our family has really been put through the wringer this year. Jake wasn't a great fit for the military, and he was constantly being put through the wringer for disobedience.
put (one) through the wringer
To subject one to some ordeal, difficulty, trial, or punishment; to force one to undergo an unpleasant experience. My mother's recent bout with cancer has really put us through the wringer this year.
put someone through the wringer
Fig. to give someone a difficult time; to interrogate someone thoroughly. (Alludes to putting something through an old-fashioned clothes wringer.) The lawyer really put the witness through the wringer! The teacher put the students through the wringer.
go/put somebody through the ˈwringer(informal) have, or make somebody have, a difficult or unpleasant experience, or a series of them: He’s been through the wringer lately, what with his divorce, and then losing his job. ♢ Those interviewers really put me through the wringer!
In the past, a wringer was a device that squeezed the water out of clothes that had been washed.
put (someone) through the wringerSlang
To subject to a severe trial or ordeal.
through the mill, to go/to be put
To undergo hardship or rough treatment. The analogy here is to being ground down like grain. The figurative use of the term dates from the nineteenth century. “We’ve all passed through that mill,” wrote Rolf Bolderwood (A Colonial Reformer, 1890). A newer synonymous phrase, dating from the mid-1900s, is to put someone through the wringer, alluding to a wringer that squeezes moisture out of something. For example, “When they suspect child abuse, the police really put parents through the wringer.”