Definition of tear into in English:

tear into

phrasal verb

  • 1Attack verbally.

    ‘she tore into him: “Don't you realize what you've done to me?”’
    • ‘Dáily Mirror columnist Sue Carroll tore into Jonsson's decision not to name her attacker.’
    • ‘Liddiment tore into the BBC, accusing it of becoming too populist and warning director-general Greg Dyke and his lieutenants to get their tanks off the ITV lawn.’
    • ‘Nasser Hussain had a reputation for verbally tearing into his bowlers, and Hoggard was one of his victims.’
    • ‘But on August 24, a day before its delegation left for the earth summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, the government tore into the report.’
    • ‘The St Augustine MP also tore into Government's social sector programmes, particularly those targeting the development of the family.’
    • ‘The 20-year-old veered off the script and tore into New Labour, politely but firmly telling the most powerful man in Britain he was wrong, as he sat across the table.’
    • ‘I immediately tried to call Melissa to find out what the scoop was before I tore into Bob who I assumed had planned merry bird adventures instead of working at the store.’
    • ‘And on the back of his authority's top-rating, East Riding Tory leader Stephen Parnaby last night tore into Mr Clarke for misrepresenting the authority.’
    • ‘In a blow to power station owners Parkview, the panel not only warned that the stability of the roofless building was in danger, but tore into the company's plans for it as an exclusive retail and hotel complex.’
    • ‘The Tracey Review tore into Captain Toohey's reasoning and his explosive conclusions, and this is the report the Government released last night.’
    attack, assail, hit, strike, let fly at, lay into, lash out at, set about, set upon, fall on, turn on, assault, beat, thrash, pound, pummel, wallop, hammer, pounce on, round on, pelt, drub
    View synonyms
  • 2Make an energetic or enthusiastic start on.

    ‘a jazz trio is tearing into the tune with gusto’
    • ‘Darren Lehmann, coming in at 73 for four, decided attack was the best form of defence, and he tore into Simon Francis, smashing him for 32 from the first nine balls.’
    • ‘The lights dimmed and the Dolls came out and tore into one of their anthems, ‘Personality Crisis.’’
    • ‘Solanki and Bell, who could be competing for the same place once England are back at full strength, tore into the inexperienced seam attack while the fielding restrictions were in place.’
    • ‘He struck the ball with ferocity, tearing into the Lincoln attack with relish.’
    • ‘Bernard was more patient in his knock, but Breese did not want to return on Monday, and with this in mind, he tore into the Guyana attack and raced his side to their target.’
    • ‘All the while he's hitting the high notes, tears into the three-guitar attack and basically whips the crowd into an intoxicated frenzy.’
    • ‘Holding the edge following a 9-8 triumph at Meadowbank a year ago, the Scots tore into attack.’
    • ‘The 33-year-old Kaluwitharana, playing his first Test in two years, justified his selection by tearing into the Kiwi attack with 13 boundaries.’
    • ‘And it was the solid base provided by Nash and his defensive colleagues that enabled City's attackers to tear into Norwich in the second half.’
    • ‘When Willie learns that the other kids beat him up, we see him tearing into the biggest kid, giving him a serious pounding up against a tree while the other kids scatter, and still others, on their bikes, stare in disbelief.’