take someone or something apart

take apart

1. To disassemble something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "apart." Suzy loves taking electronics apart and figuring out how to put them back together again.
2. To destroy something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "apart." The storm took the house apart overnight.
3. To beat or thrash someone severely and thoroughly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "apart." He acted tough, but he got taken apart by the two brothers. The mugger didn't realize his victim was a martial arts expert, and she completely took him apart.
4. To decisively defeat someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "apart." They have taken apart Cleveland's defense this half. If you underestimate her, she will take you apart during the debate.
5. To be extremely critical of someone or something through careful, thorough analysis. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "apart." She completely took apart his book in front of the entire audience, leaving him looking like a fool. The boss took her apart for bungling up the accounts.
See also: apart, take

take someone or something apart

1 dismantle something. 2 defeat someone or something conclusively. 3 criticize someone or something severely. informal
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