Definition of cut (or tear) something to ribbons in English:

cut (or tear) something to ribbons


  • 1Cut (or tear) something so badly that only ragged strips remain.

    ‘the counterpane had been cut to ribbons’
    • ‘He, Seven, squirmed under Eight's grip, teeth bared furiously, and dragged the knife through Eight's long coat, tearing the fabric to ribbons.’
    • ‘The machete stabbed and slashed, cutting his shirt to ribbons.’
    • ‘Take one item, set it on fire or tear it to ribbons (you'll love it, trust me), then box the rest up and send them to the Goodwill.’
    • ‘When it comes time for our vampires to dispatch the unlucky couple they have chosen, they rip off their stylish Ankh pendants and cut their necks to ribbons with a hidden blade.’
    • ‘Cadi wondered aloud as she and Jeir cut a serpent to ribbons.’
    • ‘At the height of the battle, three other enemy ships were also pouring death into the ‘Billy Ruffian'. Shot tore away sails, ripped up deck planking, cut hammocks to ribbons and hurled guns from their carriages.’
    1. 1.1 Damage something severely.
      ‘the country has seen its economy torn to ribbons by recession’
      • ‘Both batsmen have the ability to tear any attack to ribbons and a quick 60 or 70 from them will set Border on the road to a good total.’
      • ‘The line-up now is rather different from two years ago when O'Driscoll cut them to ribbons with a fantastic hat-trick in Paris.’
      • ‘Yes, his squad of highly skilled artists can weave beautiful patterns and cut a poor defence to ribbons, but we knew that anyway.’
      • ‘It was fine with people, as far as we knew, but it nearly tore another dog to ribbons and the staff had to deal with that.’
      • ‘Six sets of brilliance had taken him through the final two rounds as he cut Andy Roddick and then Mark Philippoussis to ribbons.’
      • ‘So with a rail strike cutting services to ribbons, the impact on York was guaranteed to be devastating.’
      • ‘If he waited for reinforcements, then his ship would be cut to ribbons by the time help arrived.’
      • ‘Apparently it's not enough to sue 12 year-old girls, they have to make make sure your favourite TV shows are cut to ribbons as well.’
      • ‘For the first time she seemed to notice that her hands were cut to ribbons.’
      • ‘On the physical side my hands are cut to ribbons, I have never cut and scratched myself at work like I have in the past few weeks, this also included a major electric shock which left a burn on my right wrist (now faded).’
      injure, hurt, damage, harm, maim, mutilate, disable, incapacitate, scar
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