Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
tear into (someone or something)
1. To begin violently or aggressively eating something. I was so hungry that I tore into the cheap hamburger like it was the most delicious thing I'd ever eaten. I looked away when the wolves began to tear into their prey.
2. To criticize or reproach someone or something in a severe and merciless manner. The boss tore into me for how I bungled the Jefferson account. I can hear Mom tearing into Dad again about his gambling.
tear into someone or something
to attack someone or something; to attack someone or something with the intent of eating someone or something. The wolves tore into the hunter and injured him severely. The kids tore into the cake and ate it all.
tear into someone
Fig. to scold someone severely; to attack someone with criticism. I was late, and the boss tore into me like a mad dog. I don't know why she tore into me. I was at work when the window was broken.
tear into something
Fig. to begin eating food with gusto. The family tore into the mountain of food like they hadn't eaten since breakfast—which was true, in fact. Jimmy tore into the turkey leg and cleaned it off in no time.
To attack someone or something with great vigor or violence: The bear tore into the meat. The boxer tore into his opponent at the match.