to work someone into the ground

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - work someone into the ground

"to work someone into the ground"

to force someone to work so hard or so much that they become ill or exhausted and cannot work anymore


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - work someone into the ground

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Where is Sarah today?

Colleague 2: She is off sick.

Colleague 1: No wonder she got ill. The boss has been working her into the ground for the past several months.

Colleague 2: I agree. No one could work eighty and ninety hour weeks and not become exhausted or break down.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - work someone into the ground

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: How are you ever going to save enough money to buy a motorcycle?

Friend 2: I am going to work three jobs if I have to. I will do whatever it takes.

Friend 1: And if you work yourself into the ground, how will you have any energy to be able to enjoy your motorcycle?

Friend 2: Once I have the bike, I can rest and recover.

Test Your Understanding  

to work someone into the ground - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   63   click for frequency by country

to work someone into the ground - Gerund Form:

Working me into the ground will get the job done but I will need some time off to recover.

to work someone into the ground - Examples:

1)  When I speak to them they say they are being worked into the ground and their organisation sucks. I'd want my cops feeing good, feeling healthy ...

2)  ... had two employers that promised but did not deliver sponsorship and worked me into the ground, literally.

3)  ... drive me away from the job I loved. Worked into the ground and badly treated. 

4)  Derren would have worked himself into the ground for this one.

5)  ... the 75,000 Britons who volunteered to become unpaid Games Makers and worked themselves into the ground to keep the Greatest show on Earth running smoothly, day after long day.

6)  For years I worked myself into the ground, working 9 to 6 and teaching night classes 2 or even 3 nights a week ...

7)  ... the break hasn't been all bad. I sort of worked myself into the ground over the last two years. Working full time, being a full time mum ...

8)  ... workers need recuperation time. Why do you want workers to be worked into the ground, just to earn a reasonable wage?

9)  But no one forces anyone to put in "years being worked into the ground" and no one forces you to "put your life on hold."

10)  ... a teenager from a religious Muslim family and my mother has worked herself into the ground throughout my life, just for her children's benefit.

11)  ... personal sanity or get any sleep these days. Most people are worked into the ground, it does not allow them to have ...

12)  I was young, and let it work me into the ground. I should have quit and moved on.

13)  ... expenses in the thousands and the ability to not have to work yourself into the ground for the revenue. The key is planning and committing. 

14)  They will only be too happy for you to work yourself into the ground for them. And your reward years and years of loyalty is redundancy or a ...

15)  Does that mean reality now is that you have to work yourself into the ground, into debt, while still managing to afford to travel, focus on your ...

16)  I've watched people work themselves into the ground in climates that physically broke them.

17)  ... business into a well-tuned system that doesn't require you to work yourself into the ground every week. 

18)  ... their exemption is making the economy worse by allowing employers to work employees into the ground so they can avoid paying more workers. 

19)  ... we are not doing ourselves or our businesses any favours by working ourselves into the ground. So this is me telling you to take a break! 

20)  ... and charge too little and you'll end up working yourself into the ground with no money to show for it.