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1. Literally, into small pieces. The demolition crew came in and blew the house to pieces. The vase smashed to pieces when I dropped it on the floor.
2. To a huge or great degree. A: "I really hope Mary enjoys her surprise birthday party." B: "I'm sure she'll be thrilled to pieces!" Goodnight, sweetheart, Mommy and Daddy love you to pieces!
3. To an emotionally unstable frame of mind. (Used almost exclusively after the verb "go.") Poor Jane really went to pieces during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just go to pieces every time.
4. To a deteriorated, foiled, or unsuccessful state. Boy, this party has really gone to pieces. First, there was the issue with the caterer, and now half the guests aren't coming. Their last-minute field goal dashed our hopes of making the playoffs to pieces.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Into fragments, disorganized, or confused, as in I tore his argument to pieces. This metaphoric term has been so used since about 1600. Also see go to pieces; pick apart (to pieces); thrill to pieces.
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.