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come apart at the seams

Also, come unglued or unstuck. Become extremely upset; break down. For example, After he lost his job Brad seemed to come apart at the seams or The proposed bank merger is coming unglued, or When her last play flopped she became completely unstuck. This idiom transfers physical to emotional disintegration. [Slang; mid-1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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