take the starch out of (one)

take the starch out of (one)

To reduce or damage someone's ego or pride; to humble or humiliate someone. I'm really glad that pompous oaf lost his court case—maybe that will take the starch out of him a bit. His rejection from the literary magazine really took the starch out of Tom. Don't let a silly performance review take the starch out of you like that—you've got to have confidence in your own work.
See also: of, out, starch, take
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take the starch out of someone

 
1. Fig. to make someone less arrogant or stiff. I told a joke that made Mr. Jones laugh very hard. It really took the starch out of him. John is so arrogant. I'd really like to take the starch out of him!
2. Fig. to make someone tired and weak. This hot weather really takes the starch out of me. What a long day! It sure took the starch out of me.
See also: of, out, starch, take
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take the starch out of

Deflate or ridicule someone, as in That practical joke at the office party really took the starch out of Nick. This expression, first recorded in 1840, alludes to the starch used to stiffen a shirt.
See also: of, out, starch, take
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

take the starch out of someone

shake someone's confidence, especially by humiliating them. US
See also: of, out, someone, starch, take
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take the starch out of someone

tv. to reduce someone’s self-assurance; to reduce someone’s conceit. I took the starch out of Kelly by telling him where he was headed if he didn’t change his ways.
See also: of, out, someone, starch, take
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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