tear (someone or something) in half

(redirected from tear somebody in half)

tear (someone or something) in half

1. To tear someone or something into halves or two pieces of relatively equal size. The strongman impressed the audience by tearing a phonebook in half with his bare hands. The demonic creature grabbed poor Ishmael and tore him in half.
2. To cause someone a devastating amount of emotional and psychological pain. Seeing my ex-wife strolling down the street with her new boyfriend, the two of them as happy as could be, well, it nearly tore me in half. It tore her heart in half to see her poor child in so much agony, but there was nothing she could do to stop the illness from spreading.
See also: half, tear