fall apart

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fall apart

1. Literally, to break into pieces. Don't stand on that rickety old chair, it's liable to fall apart at any moment.
2. To be approaching failure. Boy, this party is really falling apart. First, there was the issue with the caterer, and now half the guests aren't coming.
3. To become very emotional, especially with sadness or grief. Poor Jane really fell apart during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just fall apart every time.
See also: apart, fall

fall apart (at the seams)

 and come apart at the seams 
1. . Lit. [for something] to break apart where its parts are joined. The dress fell apart at the seams. I wouldn't have thought that a coat that cost that much money would just come apart at the seams.
2. Fig. to break down mentally. Tom works too much and finally fell apart. Poor Ralph simply fell apart at the seams.
See also: apart, fall

fall apart

Collapse, break down, either physically or mentally and emotionally. For example, This chair is about to fall apart, or After his wife died, he fell apart. For synonyms for the latter usage, see come apart at the seams; go to pieces.
See also: apart, fall

fall apart

v.
1. To disintegrate, collapse, or break into pieces: The rickety chair fell apart when I sat on it.
2. To suffer a nervous breakdown: The political prisoner fell apart after years in solitary confinement.
3. To lose structure or continuity: Our vacation plans fell apart because we couldn't agree on which country to visit.
See also: apart, fall
References in periodicals archive ?
We'll probably look at maybe touring it later," says Matt of The Art of Falling Apart, which has soundscapes by Wizards of Twiddly's Simon James.
New Director Fiction - Falling Apart, Brian Hill (C4)
Since then, researchers have recognized that many volcanoes have a habit of falling apart, including those on Hawaii.
What was once looking rosy in the garden is falling apart at the seams.
I am 70 years young now and see the country falling apart.
She knew empty fridges and the attendant growling stomach, thrift store clothes, drunken furies, dreams of quick riches, a house falling apart, the contempt of others, the value of schools and libraries, and the need to be resourceful beyond her years.
OSTEOARTHRITIS KEY: It could be that your osteoarthritis may be caused by something other than getting older and falling apart.
Real Roseanne'' seeks to follow in the ``Osbournes'' tradition of casting her family as wacky sitcom characters and in the ``Project Greenlight'' story line of a rudderless production falling apart but is far too self-conscious in its efforts: She recruits a ``face reader'' to appraise showrunner candidates for her cooking series.
But now Liza is trying desperately to hold it together while everything in her world is falling apart.
I think perhaps the economy is placing a bigger burden on families and they are falling apart more and taking it out on the kids,'' said Janis Spire, executive director of the Alliance for Children's Rights.