To break the back

Related to To break the back: back breaker, break the bank, broken back
To dislocate the backbone; hence, to disable totally.
To get through the worst part of; as, to break the back of a difficult undertaking.

See also: Break, Break

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
"They must come in and offer the shares to us to break the back of this cost-of-living cartel that we have in the country," he told the National Assembly during debate on the 2001 National Budget.
"Bondholders are likely to take a tough stance because Ecuador's debt is too small to break the back of any banks."
He said: "This is a huge national effort to break the back of long-term youth unemployment once and for all."