take the starch out of someone

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

take the starch out of someone

shake someone's confidence, especially by humiliating them. US
See also: of, out, someone, starch, take

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