tear apart

phrasal verb
tore apart; torn apart; tearing apart; tears apart

Definition of tear apart

1 : to completely destroy (something) by tearing it into pieces I couldn't open the box nicely, so I just tore it apart. often used figuratively The robbers tore apart the house looking for the money.We tore the other team apart in yesterday's game.We can't agree, and it's tearing our family apart.
2 : to criticize (someone or something) in a very harsh or angry way especially by describing weaknesses, flaws, etc. The article tears apart the company's handling of the situation. They tore him apart when he left.

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tear apart

tear around

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Cite this Entry

“Tear apart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tear%20apart. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tear apart

Nglish: Translation of tear apart for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tear apart for Arabic Speakers


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