settle a score/an account
settle a score (with someone)
To get vengeance (on someone) for a past wrong or grievance; to punish someone for causing one harm or misfortune in the past. The former champion entered the competition looking to settle a score with the young player who dethroned him in the previous tournament. After five years in hiding from the law, Hofstadter decided it was time to return to town and settle a score.
settle an account
1. To pay money owed. Beware emails purporting to be from long-lost friends asking you to wire them money in order to settle an account—it's probably a scam.
2. To pay an amount of money to clear a debt with a credit institution, especially when it is less than the amount originally owed. If you find yourself with a large enough lump sum of cash, you may be able to settle an account for significantly less than what's owed, so long as you can pay the new amount in full.
3. To avenge a misdeed; to harm or punish someone who wronged one in the past. This court is not the means by which jilted lovers can settle an account, is that understood Mr. Daniels? Look, I don't have an account to settle with you or anything, so let's just let bygones be bygones, OK?
settle a score
Also, settle or wipe out an old score or scores . Get even, avenge a grievance or an injury. For example, Wendy settled an old score with Bill when she made him wait for half an hour in the rain . These expressions, dating from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, all use score in the sense of "an account" or "bill." Also see pay off, def. 3.
settle a scoreor
settle an old score
COMMON If someone settles a score or settles an old score, they take revenge for something that someone has done to them in the past. Phillips insists he's not interested in settling a score against the team that fired him a couple of months ago. Waters had only been out of jail three weeks when he and two friends went to settle an old score with a man he had met in prison. Note: You can talk about people or groups being involved in score-settling or the settling of scores. What is happening now is score-settling and there is little hope of an end to it. What we are witnessing here is the settling of scores.
settle an accountor
If you settle an account or settle accounts with an enemy or opponent, you bring your fight or argument to an end by defeating them. She had an account to settle with her family. He told me to give up my desire to settle accounts with the person who had injured me. Note: The verb square is sometimes used instead of settle. The team was determined to square the account in this match.