tear apart


tear apart

1Upset or make distraught, as in The parents’ divorce tore apart the grandparents. [Second half of 1800s] 2Criticize severely, as in The professor tore her paper apart. [Mid-1900s] 3Search some place completely, as in The police tore the house apart. [Second half of 1900s] 4Separate, especially unwillingly, as in The war tore many families apart.

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