fall to pieces

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fall to pieces

1. To physically break or fall apart. If we don't get the roof replaced soon, it could just fall to pieces on us.
2. To become very emotional. Poor Jane really fell to pieces during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just fall to pieces every time.
3. To deteriorate or go awry. Boy, this party has really fallen to pieces. First, there was the issue with the caterer, and now half the guests aren't coming.
See also: fall, piece
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fall to pieces

 
1. Lit. to break into pieces. The road was so rough the car almost fell to pieces. I was afraid that my bicycle would fall to pieces before I got there.
2. Fig. to become emotionally upset. I was so nervous, I fell to pieces and couldn't give my speech. Roger fell to pieces when his mother died.
See also: fall, piece
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fall to ˈpieces


1 (usually used in the progressive tenses) (of things) become very old and in bad condition because of long use: Our car is falling to pieces, we’ve had it so long.
2 (of a person, an organization, a plan, etc.) stop working; be destroyed: He’s worried that the business will fall to pieces without him.
See also: fall, piece
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fall to pieces

1. To break apart; disintegrate or collapse.
2. To become distraught or lose one's ability to cope.
See also: fall, piece
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Plenty of jolts and some pleasingly spooky scenes follow, with the tension ratcheted up to fever pitch, but then it all falls to pieces with a badly fumbled ending.
And given its recent troubles it should accept all offers of help from whatever quarter - if only to prop up the institution before it falls to pieces.
The problem with Lloyd's Prayer is that as the whimsies multiply, the plot falls to pieces. The art of creating wonderlands where anything can happen is a delicate one.
Surely if the little 'un catches leprosy they'll be blamed for tempting fate by naming it after something that falls to pieces too easily?