1. To rip, tear, or break someone or something into two or more pieces with quick, violent, and forceful pulling motions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "yank" and "apart." The boy yanked apart his sister's toy in a fit of jealousy. In medieval times, they used to yank prisoners apart by tying their each of their limbs to a different horse.
2. To cause two or more people to separate very suddenly or against their will, either through the use of physical force or due to external circumstances or influences. A noun or pronoun can be used between "yank" and "apart." The officer tried to yank the two drunken sailors apart before one of them got seriously hurt. Many families in the region have been yanked apart by the war.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
yank someone or something apart
1. to pull, tear, or rip someone or something to pieces. Please don't yank the book apart! He yanked apart the book! He threatened to yank his opponent apart.
2. to separate people or things. The teacher yanked them apart. The teacher yanked apart the fighting boys.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.