tore up

tear up

1. To violently rip or pull someone or something into pieces. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "up." Make sure you tear up any papers that have your personal details on them. The pack of wolves tore the poor traveler up.
2. To cancel or nullify some contract or agreement. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "up." He tore up the contract when he realized how little he would be paid for his work. I had no idea they would tear our deal up if we sought outside investments.
3. To pierce or rupture the surface of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "up." Please don't leave your snow chains on the car after the snow melts, it tears up the roads! Rubbing against that brick wall really tore my skin up.
4. To cause someone a great deal of pain, sadness, distress, or guilt. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "up." Can't you see you're tearing Jane up? Why do you have to treat her that way? That documentary really tore me up. I still feel so hopeless after watching it. He's still really torn up about what happened, you know.
5. To well up as if to cry; to have tears begin to appear in one's eyes. I always tear up at weddings. I noticed Janet tearing up during the speeches.
See also: tear, up

tore (up)

and torn (up) and tore down
1. mod. distraught; emotionally upset. Fred’s really torn up about the accident.
2. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. He wasn’t just drunk—he was massively tore up.
See also: tore, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Then, two days before their opener, projected center fielder Alex Sanchez (signed because incumbent Rocco Baldelli tore up a knee in the off-season) became the first major-league player to test positive for steroids, earning a 10- game suspension.
The helter-skelter racing that tore up the streets of San Francisco is heading for city streets across the country.
No one called me when Ed O'Bannon tore up his knee.