Definition of wear someone/something down in English:

wear someone/something down

phrasal verb

  • Overcome someone or something by persistence.

    ‘they wore down their opponents to win the marathon match’
    • ‘Rugby league is brutally hard, especially in the early stages of a game, when space is at a premium and big men come together in a series of energy-sapping collisions, sniffing for weakness and looking to wear the opposition down.’
    • ‘The stabbing was a desperate response to his behaviour, after she had been worn down by years of mistreatment.’
    • ‘Sometimes we argue and he wears my patience down and my only refuge will be an insult aimed at his mother.’
    • ‘While he has lost none of his charisma, the years of ridicule appear to have worn him down.’
    • ‘Mr Johnston said officers had been worn down by staff reductions and the increase in workloads, as well as the imposition of pay awards below the rate of inflation.’
    • ‘This last 9 months in the wilderness of soul-destroying job applications and mind-numbing temp jobs had worn me down.’
    • ‘‘Sleep deprivation, food deprivation, being made to stand up for hours would be used in the past to wear people down,’ said one former officer.’
    • ‘Over the years they wore the residents down with what can only be called ‘strong-arm tactics.’’
    • ‘Free calls allow scammers to spend as long as they want wearing victims down with long calls or repeatedly phoning back.’
    • ‘They want to wear people down; they are counting on people like you and me to get tired, hungry.’
    • ‘In a world where human beings can never know enough people, and where their close relationships are worn down by misunderstandings and separations, literature serves as an experiment in sympathy.’
    • ‘This was a peace process by sloth, a two-year long round of talks about talks about talks, which finally wore the parties down to the point where they would have put their names to just about anything the Prime Minister stuck in front of them.’
    • ‘Sometimes you see the bigger, heavier, stronger side wear the other team down but that didn't happen today.’
    • ‘After umpteen prosecutions for failing to display a UK motor tax disc, the authorities were worn down by his dogged challenging of their authority to levy tax.’
    • ‘He said his father had worn him down over years with derogatory comments and he just snapped.’
    • ‘After announcing his resignation to the university's board of supervisors, he acknowledged that the conflicts with faculty members had worn him down.’
    • ‘The pleading in his voice must have worn her down.’
    • ‘He says continuing speculation about the company's future is wearing workers down.’
    • ‘I have to admit, I pretty much just wore him down.’
    • ‘He eventually wears her down with his persistence and convinces her to marry him by giving her mother and siblings a place to live when her father dies.’
    • ‘The previous year had worn me down, and I was hoping that 2004 would be a lot calmer.’
    • ‘I mean, I know there is no legal strategy to deliberately delay the progress of cases, or to wear people down.’
    • ‘For years our youth have been exposed to less than exciting training routines and game plans which have primarily focused on keeping the ball in hand and relying on brute strength to wear the opposition down.’
    • ‘It already had been a long day, and the stress had worn me down.’
    • ‘Because of this, hares use their superior speed to try and escape but the superior stamina of the hounds wears the hare down to exhaustion.’
    • ‘Some teachers, on the other hand, wait until their exit interview to voice concerns about conditions that have worn them down and driven them from the profession.’
    • ‘The frustration of trying to do this on my own is wearing my resolve down.’
    • ‘With the strength of an ox, he will run all day to wear his opponent down.’
    • ‘In the final set he did not lose a single point on his serve and wore his opponent down with relentless rallying to complete the victory 6-1 in the third.’
    • ‘The father said, ‘No, no, no,’ at first and refused, but finally he was worn down by the boy's persistence.’
    gradually overcome, slowly diminish, slowly lessen, slowly reduce, drain, erode, wear away, exhaust, undermine, chip away at
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