Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(settle) a score (to settle)

a score to settlesettle a score
Meaning(s)
1) have a need/hope to get even, or get even with someone for a past wrong or grievance
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • have a score to settle with someone who wronged you
  • Analysis

    If you have ‘a score to settle’ it means you have a past grievance or loss to discuss, get even on or put right with someone. When someone let you down or did something harmful or hurtful to you in the past which you then keep in mind in order to do something bad to them in return you have 'a score to settle'. This idiomatic expression has a negative connotation in that it implies seeking revenge for past wrongdoings

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. In the final of the competition I will come up against the person who beat me last year. It's safe to say that I have a score to settle with him!
    2. When I heard that Tom had just moved into the neighbourhood, I paid him a visit to settle a few old scores.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I have a score to settle with my old boss after he fired me for no good reason!
    2. I'm not interested in settling any scores with the other company. They won the contract fair and square so we can't complain.
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