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[uh-pahrt] /əˈpɑrt/
into pieces or parts; to pieces:
to take a watch apart; an old barn falling apart from decay.
separately in place, time, motion, etc.:
New York and Tokyo are thousands of miles apart. Our birthdays are three days apart.
to or at one side, with respect to place, purpose, or function:
to put money apart for education; to keep apart from the group out of pride.
separately or individually in consideration:
each factor viewed apart from the others.
aside (used with a gerund or noun):
Joking apart, what do you think?
having independent or unique qualities, features, or characteristics (usually used following the noun it modifies):
a class apart.
Verb phrases
take apart,
  1. to disassemble:
    to take a clock apart.
  2. Informal. to criticize; attack:
    She was taken apart for her controversial stand.
  3. to subject to intense examination:
    He will take your feeble excuses apart.
apart from, aside from; in addition to; besides:
Apart from other considerations, time is a factor.
Origin of apart
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French a part to one side. See a-5, part
Related forms
apartness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for take apart
Contemporary Examples
  • The best-funded, former eBay chief Meg Whitman, appears to be the kind of amateur who the old pro could take apart quickly.

Historical Examples
  • This style of forming was also easier to take apart after the setting of the concrete.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • take apart and clean bicycle and put together again properly.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • This method will allow one quickly to assemble or take apart the plane and store it in a small place.

  • Those of the boxes which you do not use whole you should take apart carefully (see Withdrawing Nails).

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • Screw the shelves in place (see Screws) to see that everything is right, then take apart and finish.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • Of course this is not a good method for work which you may wish to take apart again.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • Seam it up and try it on, having it fitted nicely, then cut along the seam and take apart.

  • It could be soothing to take apart and reassemble a complex mechanism, and sometimes you got ideas from it.


    Cory Doctorow
  • take apart the main and secondary valves and clean thoroughly, seeing that all parts are in good working order.

    Steam Turbines Hubert E. Collins
British Dictionary definitions for take apart

take apart

verb (transitive, adverb)
to separate (something) into component parts
to criticize or punish severely: the reviewers took the new play apart


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
to pieces or in pieces: he had the television apart on the floor
placed or kept separately or to one side for a particular purpose, reason, etc; aside (esp in the phrases set or put apart)
separate in time, place, or position; at a distance: he stood apart from the group, two points three feet apart
not being taken into account; aside: these difficulties apart, the project ran smoothly
individual; distinct; separate: a race apart
separately or independently in use, thought, or function: considered apart, his reasoning was faulty
(preposition) apart from, besides; other than
Word Origin
C14: from Old French a part at (the) side
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for take apart



late 14c., from Old French à part "to the side," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + partem, accusative of pars "a side" (see part (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for take apart

take apart

verb phrase

  1. To criticize severely and in a detailed way; defame
  2. To defeat; thrash: mugger took them apart (1942+)
  3. To dismantle: took the Legos apart
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with take apart

take apart

Dismantle or disassemble, as in They had to take apart the stereo before they could move it. This usage was first recorded in 1936.
Examine thoroughly, analyze or dissect, as in The teacher embarrassed Tom by taking his thesis apart in front of the class. [ Mid-1900s ]
Beat up, thrash, as in You'd better be careful; those boys will take you apart. [ ; mid-1900s ]


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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