tear into something

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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.
3. To physically attack someone or something very violently and aggressively. The two gangsters tore into the witness, beating him within an inch of his life. The soldiers began tearing into the enemy's defenses.
4. To attack one's opponent in a sporting contest with great and prolonged intensity. We were down by 20 points after the first half, but we tore into them for the entire second half and managed to win. They tore into the other team's defenses for three minutes while on their power play, but they didn't manage to score a goal in that time.
5. To undertake some task or activity with great energy, determination, or enthusiasm. I'm going to tear into my research paper this weekend. We were eager to start tearing into the new project.
See also: tear
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tear into something

in. 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.
See also: something, tear
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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References in periodicals archive ?
I had taken a couple of friends, both of whom are good, red-blooded males who like to tear into something's flesh now and again, so where could be better to go than a steakhouse?