tear apart

(redirected from tearing us apart)

tear apart

1. To violently rip or pull someone or something into pieces. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." He tore the contract apart when he realized how little he would be paid for his work. The pack of wolves tore apart their prey.
2. For a disagreement, problem, or outside factor to cause division in or force the dissolution of a relationship or group, such as of a romantic couple, family members, or organization. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." The death of a child is the most calamitous thing anyone can experience, and it ends up tearing many couples apart. It's such a shame to see a family torn apart by squabbles over money. The issue has been tearing the community apart for months.
3. To criticize or reproach someone or something in a severe and merciless manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." The reviews absolutely tore apart the sequel, but I don't think it was that bad. I heard the boss tearing Jack apart for his handling of the Jefferson account.
4. To cause someone to be extremely or inconsolably sad; to devastate someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." Can't you see you're tearing Jane apart? Why do you have to treat her that way? That documentary really tore me apart. I still feel so hopeless after watching it.
5. To search through some place very thoroughly and aggressively, often leaving things in disarray as a result. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tear" and "apart." I tore the house apart looking for my passport. FBI investigators have been tearing the office building apart in search of documents linking the corporation to criminal activity. Burglars tore the place apart looking for anything valuable.
See also: apart, tear

tear someone apart

 
1. Lit. to rip someone apart savagely. (See also tear something apart.) Max threatened to tear Tom apart. The bear tore apart the hiker.
2. Fig. to cause two people, presumably lovers, to separate unwillingly. The enormous disruption of the accident tore them apart and they separated. The bickering between their parents finally tore apart the engaged couple.
3. Fig. to cause someone enormous grief or emotional pain. The death of her dog tore her apart. It was the dog's death that tore apart Barbara.
4. Fig. to criticize someone mercilessly. The critic tore apart the entire cast of the play. Why do you have to tear yourself apart for making a little error?
See also: apart, tear

tear something apart

 
1. to pull or rip something apart. (See also tear someone apart.) The bear tore the tent apart. The lions tore apart the wildebeest in minutes, and began eating it.
2. to criticize something mercilessly. The critic tore apart the entire cast of the play.
3. to divide something or the members of a group, citizens of a country, etc. The financial crisis tore the club apart. The crisis tore apart the organization.
See also: apart, tear

tear apart

1. Upset or make distraught, as in The parents' divorce tore apart the grandparents. [Second half of 1800s]
2. Criticize severely, as in The professor tore her paper apart. [Mid-1900s]
3. Search some place completely, as in The police tore the house apart. [Second half of 1900s]
4. Separate, especially unwillingly, as in The war tore many families apart.
See also: apart, tear

tear apart

v.
1. To destroy something by or as if by tearing: The explosion tore the building apart. The tornado tore apart the barn.
2. To separate someone from someone else: Don't let your anger tear you apart from me. We can't tear the happy couple apart.
3. To criticize something harshly: The committee tore apart my report. The professor tore the student's paper apart.
See also: apart, tear
References in periodicals archive ?
T he SNP and its leaders are hell-bent on tearing us apart for their own political goals.
Mobile communication; bringing us together and tearing us apart.
It's tearing us apart, not knowing where his final resting place is.
You would never think that would be the last time you see your grandchildren and that thought is tearing us apart.
Bill Bishop Coauthor, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart (2008) Austin, Texas
Mr Murray's brother John said: "We still can't believe Mark is gone, it's tearing us apart.
The Chelsea game may have been 2-0 but it could have been 5-0 - they were tearing us apart so it was important to prove ourselves defensively again and I think we did that.
Our sex life is OK so I don't know what he is doing this and we are arguing all the time and it is tearing us apart
Nobody has bothered to call us and it is tearing us apart.
We're all very upset with what he's being charged with, and it's tearing us apart,'' said the elder Murray, a Santa Monica city bus driver.
We're both a little bit smitten with the 22-year-old poppet and it's tearing us apart.
It is not like teams are opening us up and tearing us apart and that we are not good enough.
Appealing to the public in a statement issued by police, he said: 'If you saw anything or you know anything please come forward for the family's sake because it's just tearing us apart.
Robert Byrd stated that this trial is tearing us apart and should be dismissed.