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See also: collapsé and col·lapse


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From Latin collāpsus (past participle of collābor).


  • IPA(key): /kəˈlæps/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æps


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.
    • 1843, Samuel Maunder, The Scientific and Literary Treasury
      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. (transitive, computing) To hide additional directory (folder) levels below the selected directory (folder) levels. When a folder contains no additional folders, a minus sign (-) appears next to the folder.
  5. (cricket) For several batsmen to get out in quick succession
  6. (transitive) To cause something to collapse.
    Hurry up and collapse the tent so we can get moving.
  7. (intransitive) To pass out and fall to the floor or ground, as from exhaustion or other illness; to faint.
    The exhausted singer collapsed on stage and had to be taken to the hospital.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


collapse (countable and uncountable, plural collapses)

  1. The act of collapsing.
    She suffered a terrible collapse after slipping on the wet floor.
    • 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.
    • 2021 May 5, Paul Clifton, “Network News: Heathrow Western Rail Access scheme 'on hold'”, in RAIL, number 930, page 26:
      However the collapse in demand for rail and air travel caused by the pandemic has had a knock-on effect for the project's funding.
  2. Constant function, one-valued function (in automata theory) (in particular application causing a reset). (Can we add an example for this sense?)







  1. first-person singular present indicative of collapser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of collapser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of collapser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of collapser
  5. second-person singular imperative of collapser




  1. vocative masculine singular of collāpsus