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From Latin collapsus (past participle of collabi)



collapse (third-person singular simple present collapses, present participle collapsing, simple past and past participle collapsed)

  1. (intransitive) To break apart and fall down suddenly; to cave in.
    • Maunder
      A balloon collapses when the gas escapes from it.
  2. (intransitive) To cease to function due to a sudden breakdown; to fail suddenly and completely
    Pyramid schemes tend to generate profits for a while and then collapse.
  3. (intransitive) To fold compactly
  4. (cricket) For several batsmen to get out in quick succession
  5. (transitive) To cause something to collapse.
    Hurry up and collapse the tent so we can get moving.
  6. (intransitive) To pass out and fall to the floor or ground, as from exhaustion or other illness; to faint
    The exhausted singer collapsed onstage and had to be taken to the hospital.

Derived terms[edit]


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collapse (plural collapses)

  1. The act of collapsing
    • 2012 April 21, Jonathan Jurejko, “Newcastle 3-0 Stoke”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      The top six are assured of continental competition and after making a statement of intent against Stoke, it would take a dramatic collapse for Newcastle to surrender their place.
  2. Constant function, one-valued function (in automata theory) (in particular application causing a reset)






  1. vocative masculine singular of collāpsus