clean someone's clock

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clean someone's clock

  1. (idiomatic) To defeat someone decisively, in a physical fight or other competition or negotiation.
    • 1997, Richard W. Stevenson, "Executives Say Trade Bill Defeat Will Hurt Economy," New York Times, 12 Nov. (retrieved 7 Oct. 2008),
      "When big business goes head to head with unions, the unions clean their clock," said one Republican aide in Congress.
    • 2007, Carla Marinucci "Hillary on a roll," San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Apr. (retrieved 7 Oct. 2008),
      Barack Obama cleaned her clock in the debates.
    • 2008, Jake Donovan, "Vicente Escobedo Rallies, Stops Dominic Salcido In Six,", 27 Sep. (retrieved 7 Oct. 2008),
      The heavily-tattooed Perez never recovered, getting nailed with flush head shots before a clean-up left hook cleaned his clock.