Definition of do someone/something down in US English:

do someone/something down

phrasal verb

British
informal
  • 1Get the better of someone, typically in an underhanded way.

    • ‘Never one to undervalue his own importance, he was able to face his public humiliation because he knew in his own mind that he had been done down by petty, smallminded people, not a match for his abilities and foresight.’
    • ‘‘He brings great rigour to his arguments and if others cannot do the same they will be done down,’ said one financier.’
    • ‘Were the Gods contriving to do us down once more on the major stage of a Munster championship day?’
    • ‘He never faced a room full of twenty-first century youngsters who, at best, would rather be at home playing Playstation games and, at worst, were determined to do him down.’
    • ‘Two years ago they did us down in the same stadium and, since then, their star has been rising and rising.’
    • ‘For a while there were rumours of a Labor rat out to do him down.’
    • ‘There is no small irony in the fact that he has been done down by the very forces he sought to win over to New Labour and whom he believed respected him for his authoritarianism and readiness to trample on democratic rights.’
    1. 1.1 Criticize someone or something.
      ‘they're always moaning and doing British industry down’
      • ‘They always had faith in him despite the so-called experts who were only willing to do him down.’
      • ‘It also comes hot on the heels of allegations filtering back to the Maryhill area that certain other first division managers have been actively doing his side down in the press.’
      • ‘We don't want to do our country down, but please don't act as if we've got the problems under control.’
      • ‘The magazine's got a cheek to revel in London's victory when it always does its very best to do our city down.’
      • ‘It's ironic that one of our own should be doing us down again.’
      belittle, disparage, denigrate, run down, deprecate, depreciate, cast aspersions on, discredit, vilify, defame, decry, criticize, abuse, insult, malign
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