tear down


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

tear down

1. To rip or pull something down from a surface. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "down." The warden went around tearing down pictures and posters hanging up in prisoners' cells.
2. To dismantle or disassemble a large object or structure. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "down." After the concert, we'll need everyone on hand to help tear down the set.
3. To demolish a large object or structure. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "down." I can't believe they haven't torn that old building down yet.
4. To deride, vilify, or excoriate someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "down." The director has long been a bully, tearing down those around him who would dare to challenge his authority. I don't understand why he's always tearing my work down.
5. To travel down or along something very quickly. The kids tore down the stairs to see what Santa Claus had brought them for Christmas. The motorcycle tore down the street in an ostentatious display of speed and motor power.
See also: down, tear

tore down

1. slang Very upset or emotional. Sean has been tore down since his wife left him. A: "Did you hear that Joe died?" B: "I know, I've been tore down about it."
2. slang Intoxicated. Do you remember last night at all? You were tore down!
See also: down, tore
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tear someone or something down

to criticize or degrade someone or something. Tom is always tearing Jane down. I guess he doesn't like her. It's not nice to tear down the people who work in your office. Why are you always tearing my projects down?
See also: down, tear

tear something down

to dismantle or destroy something. They plan to tear the old building down and build a new one there. They'll tear down the building in about two weeks.
See also: down, tear

tear down something

to race down something very fast. (See also tear something down.) The girls tore down the hallway as fast as they could run. They tore down the stairs and ran out the door.
See also: down, tear
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tear down

1. Demolish, take apart, as in They tore down the old tenements, or He loved to tear down old engines. [Early 1600s]
2. Vilify or discredit, as in He's always tearing down someone or other. [First half of 1900s]
See also: down, tear
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.

tear down

v.
1. To demolish something; raze something: The city tore down the old warehouses. I put up posters, but my opponents tore them down.
2. To take something apart; disassemble something: The mechanic tore down the engine. We took out the motor and tore it down to find out what was wrong with it.
3. To make vicious and damaging statements about someone or something; denigrate someone or something: The speakers tried to change the audience's opinion, but the audience tore the speakers down.
See also: down, tear
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

tore down

verb
See also: down, tore
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Tear Down This Wall is a work that teachers and students of the Cold War will find useful and engaging.
Bonnie Baird said the decision to tear down the church was made based on an engineer's report and "after much discussion over several years."
When the city finally shut down construction, Eisner's lawyer asked for the right to tear down the protruding bit, and a local judge eventually issued restraining orders to both sides.
Even if the city were to tear down the site, they would have to consider the decommissioning costs into the land value to try to recoup money, and that would be too expensive.
"We needed to tear down two 18-foot walls, and the structural members had to be changed from wood to steel to make the building non-combustible," he said.
Reinforcement and consistency of the actions of the few at the top either build up or tear down these values.
WHAT IS THERE ABOUT our wonderful world of sport that brings out the idiot in so many of its devotees -- the craziness that induces people to paint their faces and bare chests, tear down goal posts, attack officials, scream obscenities and demean coaches?
Some companies are beginning to tear down their former silo approach to different risks for a more holistic system guided by enterprise risk management.
Many of the homes we tear down are less than 1,500 square feet on 6,000-square-foot lots.
A team of researchers now seeks to tear down that simple image.
Gist says Millsite was told by a consultant that it would cost $300,000 to tear down the structure, and the company would make $350,000 selling it as scrap material.
In 1988, the Wildlife Conservation Society spent $38 million to tear down old zoo cages and build more natural habitats.
'Our whole purpose in making that trip was to ask Can we tear down the wall between management and labor?
After news broke of the plans by both cities to tear down illegal additions, many netizens expressed support for the move as a way to increase safety.
According to Estrada, the decision to tear down the building designed by renowned architect Carlos Arguelles in the 1960s was made after it was struck by a fire in January 2015.