come apart at the seams

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Related to came apart at the seams: seamster, Bursting at the Seams, bulging at the seams

come apart at the seams

1. To be approaching failure. Boy, this party is really coming apart at the seams. First, there was the issue with the caterer, and now half the guests aren't coming.
2. To become very emotional. Poor Jane really came apart at the seams during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just come apart at the seams every time.
See also: apart, come, seam
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come apart at the seams

Also, come unglued or unstuck . Become extremely upset; break down. For example, After he lost his job Brad seemed to come apart at the seams or The proposed bank merger is coming unglued, or When her last play flopped she became completely unstuck. This idiom transfers physical to emotional disintegration. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: apart, come, seam
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

come apart at the seams

1. If a system or relationship comes apart at the seams it completely fails. Note: The seams of a piece of clothing are the places where the separate pieces of cloth used to make it are stitched together. Our relationship was coming apart at the seams — we were quarrelling the whole time. Note: You can also say that something falls apart at the seams. Britain's university system is in danger of falling apart at the seams because of cuts in government funding.
2. If someone is coming apart at the seams, they have stopped being able to manage their life because they are very unhappy or under so much stress. Note: The seams of a piece of clothing are the places where the separate pieces of cloth used to make it are stitched together. He stood for a moment, breathing deeply; he was coming apart at the seams, something he had never thought would happen to him.
See also: apart, come, seam
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

come (or fall) apart at the seams

1 (of a thing) fall to pieces. 2 (of a person); have an emotional breakdown; collapse. informal
Seams are the lines along which pieces of fabric or the planks of a boat are joined, perceived as the points most likely to be damaged or weakened.
See also: apart, come, seam
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

come/fall apart at the ˈseams

(informal) begin to fail or collapse: The Government’s economic policy is falling apart at the seams.After only six months, their marriage has come apart at the seams.
If a piece of clothing comes apart at the seams, it begins to separate along the lines where the pieces of cloth are sewn together.
See also: apart, come, fall, seam
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

come apart at the seams, to

To become disordered; to go to pieces. This graphic analogy to a garment becoming, as it were, unsewn, is American and dates from the mid-twentieth century. “In a few instances when I thought that I would come apart at the seams . . . I managed to make the director listen” (Josef von Sternberg, Fun in a Chinese Laundry, 1965, an account of making a movie).
See also: apart, come
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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