light into

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light into (third-person singular simple present lights into, present participle lighting to, simple past and past participle lit into)

  1. (transitive) To attack physically.
    • 1885, Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, ch. 22:
      [H]e lit into that horse with his whip.
    • 1935, "U.S. Judge and Wife Killed by Bandits," Montreal Gazette, 25 Apr. (retrieved 16 Jan. 2010):
      "Father grabbed the two guns and told me to light into the other man. I jumped on him and started choking him."
  2. (transitive) To attack verbally; scold.
    • 1915, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of the Island, ch. 11:
      [S]he lit into everybody else in the church and gave them a fearful raking down, calling them right out by name and telling them how they all had behaved, and casting up all the quarrels and scandals of the past ten years.
    • 2003, Diane Roberts, "Graham would make Florida proud," St. Petersburg Times, 13 Jan. (retrieved 16 Jan. 2010):
      He speaks with more passion than ever, lighting into George W. Bush for fumbling the economy.