on a tear

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

on a tear

  1. (idiomatic) Engaged in a continuous, fast-paced procession of actions or events, especially with favorable results.
    • 1981 April 13, "Sport: Raging Bull of Basketball," Time (retrieved 28 Aug 2015):
      [T]he team was on a tear, having laid waste to three early round tournament opponents by a total victory margin of 82 points.
    • 2014 Nov. 7, Dan Hardy, "Michael Bisping analysis," Independent (UK) (retrieved 28 Aug 2015):
      To say he went on a tear after turning professional would be an understatement. He went fourteen fights without tasting defeat.
    • 2015 July 9, William D. Cohan, "The Bumbling, Irrelevant New York Stock Exchange," New York Times (retrieved 28 Aug 2015):
      [T]he market has been on a tear for more than six years and continues to trade near record highs.
  2. (idiomatic) In or into a protracted state of agitation, fury, or zeal.
  3. Binge drinking; Engaged in a bout of heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages; on a bender.
    • 2013, T. C. Boyle, T.C. Boyle Stories II: The Collected Stories of T. Coraghessan Boyle, →ISBN:
      The man I want to tell you about, the one I met at the bar at Jimmy's Steak House, was on a tear. Hardly surprising, since this was a bar, after all, and what do people do at bars except drink, and one drink leads to another -- and if you're in a certain frame of mind, I suppose, you don't stop for a day or two or maybe more.
    • 1998, Dana Stabenow, Fire and Ice, page 77:
      That Kelly, when he goes on a tear, he don't wait for the bars to open.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the sense of "engaged in a fast-paced procession of actions", often used with reference to a series of successes in sporting competitions.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]