Also found in: Dictionary.
pull someone apart
1. Lit. to separate people who are entangled. The teacher pulled the fighting boys apart and sent them home. They hugged each other so tightly that no one could have pulled them apart.
2. Fig. to upset someone very much; to cause someone grief and torment. This whole terrible affair has just pulled me apart. Don't let this matter pull you apart. Things won't always be this bad.
pull someone or something apart
to separate or dismember someone or something. The murderer pulled his victim apart and sought to dispose of the parts. He pulled apart his victim. Nick pulled the parts of the box apart.
pull apart somethingalso pull something apart
to examine all the parts of something in order to understand it We spent the afternoon pulling apart the figures supplied by the research team.
1. To pull pieces or components from something; take something apart: I pulled the computer apart and replaced some damaged chips. Our dogs pulled apart the couch while we were away.
2. To separate some people or things: The teacher pulled apart the fighting students. I pulled the two stuck pages apart.
3. To cause someone deep emotional turmoil: Her guilt was pulling her apart.