tear apart

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

tear apart (third-person singular simple present tears apart, present participle tearing apart, simple past tore apart, past participle torn apart)

  1. (transitive) Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see tear,‎ apart.
    She tore her ex-boyfriend’s clothes apart in fury.
  2. (transitive) to destroy
    • 2003 The Room
      Johnny: You are lying! I never hit you! You are tearing me apart, Lisa!
    The bomb tore apart most of the town hall.
  3. (transitive) to cause to separate
    1979, Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
    Love, love will tear us apart again
  4. (transitive, figuratively) to severely defeat
    • 2011 February 1, Keir Murray, “Aberdeen 0 - 3 Celtic”, in BBC[1]:
      But Celtic could smell blood and they tore the Reds apart in the 12th minute.
    Synonyms: take apart