take the starch out of (someone)

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of take the starch out of (someone)

US, informal + old-fashioned
: to make (someone) weak or unsure : to cause (someone) to lose energy or confidence
  • When he lost the second game, it seemed to take the starch out of him.

Word by Word Definitions

take play
  1. : to get into one's hands or into one's possession, power, or control: such as

  2. : to seize or capture physically

  3. : to get possession of (fish or game) by killing or capturing

  1. : a distinct or personal point of view, outlook, or assessment

  2. : an act or the action of taking: such as

  3. : the uninterrupted photographing or televising of a scene

starch play
  1. : to stiffen with or as if with starch

  1. : a white odorless tasteless granular or powdery complex carbohydrate (C6H10O5)x that is the chief storage form of carbohydrate in plants, is an important foodstuff, and is used also in adhesives and sizes, in laundering, and in pharmacy and medicine

  2. : a stiff formal manner : formality

  3. : resolute vigor

out play
  1. : in a direction away from the inside or center

  2. : outside

  3. : from among others

  1. : eject, oust

  2. : to identify publicly as being such secretly

  3. : to become publicly known

  1. used as a function word to indicate an outward movement

  1. : situated outside : external

  2. : out-of-bounds

  3. : situated at a distance : outlying

  1. : outside

  2. : one who is out of office or power or on the outside

  3. : an act or instance of putting a player out or of being put out in baseball

  1. : in a manner that exceeds or surpasses and sometimes overpowers or defeats

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up take the starch out of (someone)? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!