take apart

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take apart

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see take,‎ apart.
    1. To dismantle something into its component pieces.
      I carefully took the clock mechanism apart to clean it.
    2. To move someone away from others to be able to talk to, or give them something in private.
      • 1868, by Charles Dickens. Barnaby Rudge.
        ....then went close up to him, and took him apart into a dark corner. "I say," he began, with a thoughtful brow, "haven't I seen you before
  2. (informal) To soundly defeat someone, or a team.
    • 2001, by Orson Scott Card, Shadow of the Hegemon, page 143:
      And besides, I was also enjoying the way you took them apart. You know, arguing with them like you did.
    Synonym: tear apart
  3. to criticise someone
    • 2007, by Frank Luntz. Words That Work. p.150
      For nearly an hour, I took them apart for failing to understand, connect with, empathize with, and listen to the American people.?