to break your back

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - break your back

"to break your back"

to work very hard to accomplish something



Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - break your back

A manager and team member are talking ...

Team Member:  That's a really big project. When does it need to be finished?

Manager:  Don't break your neck on it. And don't let it interfere with your other work. It is just a pet project we are going to work on together.

Team Member:  So, just work on it when there is nothing else to do?

Manager:  Exactly. It will get done when it gets done.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - break your back

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Where's your husband? Doesn't he usually watch the ball game on Saturday afternoons?

Friend 2:  As you know, we are going to be hosting our daughter's wedding here in the backyard. Bill has been breaking his neck getting everything ready. He has been working at it every spare moment he has had. And I've been breaking my back getting the wedding dress sewn.

Friend 1:  I guess it is a lot of work?

Friend 2:  And with the wedding only a week away, we are going a little crazy.

to break your back - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   60   click for frequency by country

to break your back - Gerund Form:

Breaking your back to get some work done before a deadline is a good way to get ahead.

to break your back - Examples:

1)  ... in the face and to not give up instantly, but Jankos nearly broke his back trying to carry his team to the Summoner's Cup.

2)  I start to lose my mind if I'm not working on something, like breaking my back on something.

3)  I use to work at Costco breaking my back for minimum wage now I make my pay check in a day serving ...

4)  ... and the only way the bank could allow me to pay this loan back without breaking my back was over 48 months.

5)  ... a dead-end job any more. I was labouring, earning $5 an hour breaking my back for nothing.

6)  Wanting to leave something behind is, I assume, most of the logic behind breaking your back running a business or having a child who otherwise saps you of your ...

7)  How best to add impact without breaking your back with effort? 

8)  What a relief that you are obviously not breaking your back trying to do everything, so well done!

9)  Forget the hottest toys, kids want memories for Christmas. Forget breaking your back to get the hottest toy for your child at Christmas, ...

10)  The poor guy breaks his back, struggles for support and then finally gets co-opted into the system.

11)  Your dad breaks his back trying to give you a good life.

12)  This man is breaking his back for Nigeria to come alive again.

13)  ... where your first instinct is to picture a salt of the earth character breaking his back working, ...

14)  There are no leisurely weekend breakfasts for us. All week he's breaking his back, and for what?

15)  ... because when they think agriculture, they think of a farmer breaking his back plowing and wrangling cows.

16)  This is is in the marshy, mosquito-infested paddy fields that he has to break his back to satisfy his innate entrepreneurial instinct.

17)  He would not have to break his back again, carrying the burden of the team.

18)  ... a couple of corporate accounts; just enough to keep busy, not enough to break his back.

19)  It is very painful to see how Filipinos work so hard almost breaking their back to pay taxes and only to find out that corrupt officials have ...

20)  So while parents are breaking their back to meet their children's educational expenses, ...