tear apart

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

tear apart (third-person singular simple present tears apart, present participle tearing apart, simple past tore apart, past participle torn apart)

  1. (transitive) Used other than as an idiom: see tear,‎ apart.
    She tore her ex-boyfriend’s clothes apart in fury.
  2. (transitive) to destroy
    • 2003 The Room
      Johnny: You are lying! I never hit you! You are tearing me apart, Lisa!
    The bomb tore apart most of the town hall.
  3. (idiomatic, transitive) to cause to separate
    1979, Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
    Love, love will tear us apart again
  4. (transitive, figuratively) to severely defeat
    • 2011 February 1, Keir Murray, “Aberdeen 0 - 3 Celtic”, BBC:
      But Celtic could smell blood and they tore the Reds apart in the 12th minute.