to break the back of

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition - break the back of

"to break the back of"

to end the domination of;

to reduce the power of



Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - break the back of

"to break the back of"

to complete the worst or biggest part of a job



Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - break the back of

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  It is time to dominate our market segment.

Colleague 2:  And how are we going to do that?

Colleague 1:  By breaking the backs of our competitors.

Colleague 2:  And how does that work?

Colleague 1:  We start an extremely aggressive marketing campaign as well as drastically reducing our prices. If we sustain these activities long enough, our competitors will start losing more and more business and eventually crumble and break and we will dominate.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - break the back of

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  You've been at it for a couple of weeks now. How are you doing with breaking up and removing all that concrete from the old patio?

Husband:  All the heavy demolition is done. All the concrete is in small enough pieces for lifting. And I have removed about one-third of the pieces already.

Wife:  Sounds like you have broken the back of the project?

Husband:  Yes. The biggest part of the job is done. It should be smooth sailing from here on out.

to break the back of - Usage:


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to break the back of - Gerund Form:

Breaking the back of a drug cartel, the police eradicated a huge drug problem.

Breaking the back of the project, all that was left were a few details.

to break the back of - Examples:

1)  There is an absolute need to break the back of the drug syndicates.

2)  ... showed how solid defense can break the back of the opposition.

3)  ... and brand safety scores they send back to clients. Only then will we truly break the back of the ad fraud problem.

4)  Obviously, we need to break the back of the unemployment crisis too.

5)  Like other great battles, this one was supposed to break the back of the German Army and hasten the end of the war.

6)  ... adding that the government had broken the back of terrorists and peace was returning in Karachi with business activity reviving.

7)  ... especially demonetisation which has broken the back of the black marketers, terrorists, Naxals and the like.

8)  We really feel like we've broken the back of this thing. A new confidence in the direction of ...

9)  Cut-throat competition from low-cost Chinese synthetic leather and low demand in international markets have broken the back of the leather industry.

10)  ... said that the neo-liberal economic policies implemented since 90s have broken the back of the working class and down-trodden people across the country.

11)  That film really broke the back of North America for me and helped me very much to get into ...

12)  But the event that broke the back of whatever relationship existed between the board and senior staff was a public ...

13)  They broke the back of it a while back and then they came back to finish it.

14)  According to some historians around 300% tax was imposed on the shawls which broke the back of shawl industry.

15)  ... that as far as customer disconnections are concerned, he believes the group "broke the back of this last year" to become as compliant as possible.

16)  A reworking of all things at the school was done by breaking the back of the bullying culture, and reshaping the way kids are taught.

17)  ... and a relentless campaign of more than 16,000 airstrikes so far, we are breaking the back of ISIL and taking away its safe havens.

18)  Price rise is breaking the back of people. The prices of even essential medicines have gone beyond the ...

19)  Breaking the back of poverty may be the only way to break the back of corruption.

20)  ... however made solid progress and as a nation, we are on the threshold of breaking the back of this very difficult problem.