take it out on (someone or something)

take it out on (someone or something)

To punish or mistreat someone or something as a means of expressing or giving vent to a strong, typically negative, emotion, such as anger or aggression. I know you're mad at Dad, but don't take it out on me! I get that you're upset, but why are you taking it out on that poor pillow? What did it ever do to you? Dan has been frustrated by the lack of progress, and unfortunately he's been taking it out on his coworkers.
See also: on, out, take

take it out on someone or something

to punish or harm someone or something because one is angry or disturbed about something. I'm sorry about your difficulty, but don't take it out on me. Don't take it out on the cat.
See also: on, out, take

take it out on

Also, take something out on. Vent one's frustration or anger on a person or object. For example, I know you're furious about your grades but don't take it out on me. [First half of 1800s]
See also: on, out, take

take it ˈout on somebody

(informal) behave in an unpleasant way towards somebody because you feel angry, disappointed, etc., although it is not their fault: I know you’ve had a bad day at work, but don’t take it out on me.
See also: on, out, somebody, take

take it out on

Informal
To abuse (someone) in venting one's own anger.
See also: on, out, take