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.
Word by Word Definitions
: to fill with tears (see 1tear) : shed tears
: to separate parts of or pull apart by force : rend
: to wound by or as if by pulling apart by force : lacerate
: to divide or disrupt by the pull of contrary forces
: at a little distance
: away from one another in space or time
: as a separate unit : independently
: separate, isolated
: holding different opinions : divided
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up tear apart? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).