Definition of break the back of in English:

break the back of

phrase

  • 1Accomplish the main or hardest part of (a task):

    ‘we've broken the back of the problem’
    • ‘They broke the back of their task with an opening stand of 111 in only 18 overs.’
    • ‘They broke the back of the task by adding 81 runs in 16 overs for the first wicket.’
    • ‘The grants from broke the back of the funding but raising the rest was still a real challenge.’
    • ‘My belief would be that three or four weeks of intensive work would break the back of it and make sure that people started to think about things differently.’
    • ‘Mel is going to do lots of swimming and an hour's yoga every day, and I'm hoping to break the back of my music essay if the pool and the wine permit.’
    1. 1.1 Overwhelm or defeat:
      ‘I thought we really had broken the back of inflation’
      • ‘The resistance to the war at home broke the back of the government.’
      • ‘And soaring oil prices would be the final straw that broke the back of the economy.’
      • ‘He was the man credited with breaking the back of atheistic communism throughout Europe.’
      • ‘His historic march to the sea was the campaign that broke the back of the Confederacy.’
      • ‘This practice will eventually break the back of the middle class.’
      • ‘If the Government truly is serious about breaking the back of organised crime in Bulgaria, several steps could be taken.’
      • ‘The wars over the Fair Housing Act were vicious and essentially broke the back of the civil rights consensus in the Democratic party.’
      • ‘But perhaps, given earlier exaggerated claims to break the back of illiteracy within five years, a more cautious approach may be advisable.’
      • ‘Throwing money at the defense industry broke the back of the Soviet Union and ended the cold war.’
      • ‘Several films gave the impression that the D-Day landings broke the back of the German army and it was all over after then, which was wrong, of course.’