tear (someone or something) to pieces

(redirected from tearing him to pieces)

tear (someone or something) to pieces

1. To criticize, upbraid, or condemn someone or something severely or thoroughly. A: "Have you heard anything about this movie we're about to see?" B: "Well, one reviewer tore it to pieces, but I still think it's going to be great." I hear John's bosses tore him to pieces at his annual performance review.
2. To cause great damage, disorder, or ruin to someone or something. Enjoy the tranquility and order of your house now because soon, your kids will start tearing the place to pieces. Sarah's very first opponent in amateur boxing tore her to pieces, but that's how it goes for most novice fighters.
See also: piece, tear

tear someone or something to pieces

 and tear someone or something to shreds
to rip or shred someone or something into bits. Careful of that dog. It will tear you to pieces! The dog tore the newspaper to pieces. It tore my shoes to shreds.
See also: piece, tear

tear somebody/something to ˈpieces/ˈshreds

criticize somebody/something; completely destroy something: The press tore the Government’s economic plans to shreds.The Prime Minister tore his opponents’ arguments to pieces. OPPOSITE: praise somebody/something to the skies
References in periodicals archive ?
The seven foot long Bengal tigers pounced on Christian Walliser, 28, when he slipped and began tearing him to pieces at the black tie dinner in Hamburg's Hagenbeck Zoo.
In Christian tradition, St Daniel was put in the pit where the lion, instead of tearing him to pieces, licked him with his tongue.
Once the blue jays finished tearing him to pieces and flew away, I noticed a piece of newspaper sticking out of Oscar's neck where his head should have been.