fall apart


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 ?
Scholars have described Things Fall Apart as the spark that ignited the proliferation of modern African novel writing.
Giving a breakdown of the activities happening in Nigeria, the head of a five-person organising committee, disclosed that the celebration was themed: Things Fall Apart: 60 years on and will take place in five cities.
What's striking is the seeming casualness, the almost trashed quality, of the unerring construction (it looks like it could fall apart but, spookily, it is the appearance of the holes and shadows that fastens it together).
"We had to work with 33" thick masonry walls and interlocking panels that -- if not carefully cut to install HVAC and plumbing chases -- would fall apart. But, in the end, the building looks magnificent, and prospective apartment buyers are abundant."
So when did it all begin to fall apart, I wondered?
President Clinton and his Republican NAFTA allies held their breath, wondering whether Mexico would fall apart. The first signs that it would not could be seen on the spot of the Colosio assassination.
KIERON Dyer has vowed that Newcastle won't let their UEFA Cup hopes "fall apart" and suffer a repeat of the agony of two years ago.
ALAN THOMPSON fears Celtic could fall apart next season without Henrik Larsson.
If a hairline fracture now extending from the main crack were to grow during the move, he says, "the bell could literally fall apart." Arms plans to monitor the bell's transfer this fall to make sure it isn't jostled any more vigorously than it was during the warm-up lift.
The flatness of the first images dissolves into energetic splatters and dried, cracked patches: a paint surface so fascinating that what previously seemed a unified whole now seems about to fall apart entirely, all that stillness broken up into a crackling maze of near-biological complexity.
A half hour before the end, Earth itself would fall apart. Finally, one ten-thousandth of a femtosecond ([10.sup.-19] second) before the Big Rip, molecules and atoms would break up.
But while she's staying with her sister's, her mother returns and Camille begins to fall apart.
The micro-spheres fall apart inside the body and release the vaccine.
The Scots rocker, famous for his roving eye, said he remained true to Rachel - only for their marriage to fall apart anyway.
The top seed disputed a series of line calls and then saw his game fall apart after winning the first set.