fall to pieces

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fall to pieces (third-person singular simple present falls to pieces, present participle falling to pieces, simple past and past participle fell to pieces)

  1. To break into a number of segments; to collapse.
    The covers of the old book fell to pieces when I picked it up.
  2. (figuratively) To be emotionally devastated; to break down.
    When I found out my mother had passed away that night, I fell to pieces.