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settle a score

Meaning: If you settle a score with someone who has hurt you or insulted you in the past, you do something to hurt or insult them in return.

For example:

  • We think that the fire was lit on purpose to settle a score between rival gangs.

  • Boxing promoters often create the impression that boxers have scores to settle with each other in order to create more drama before a fight and sell more tickets.

Quick Quiz:

Johnny said he'd settle the score with Jimmy one day after Jimmy had
  1. lent him the money to pay off a debt
  2. told the police that Johnny had done the robbery
  3. promised to look after his family while he was in jail

Discuss: settle a score

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