take apart

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take apart

  1. To dismantle something into its component pieces.
    I carefully took the clock mechanism apart to clean it.
  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.
  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.
  4. 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?