Upset or make distraught, as in The parents' divorce tore apart the grandparents. [Second half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use tear apart in a sentence
“If we do not stop these words that kill and that tear apart our society, there will be other Ilan Halimis,” he warned.A Horror Story of True-Life Anti-Semitism in France | Tracy McNicoll | April 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In two weeks, I got enough information to tear apart that movie frame-by-frame.True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga’s Journey from Pro Snowboarder to Hollywood’s Most Wanted | Marlow Stern | February 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Conservatives may lionize Edward Snowden now, says Michael Tomasky, but ultimately his actions are going to tear apart the GOP.
Under lateral pressure strata may fold to a certain point and then tear apart and fault along the surface of least resistance.The Elements of Geology | William Harmon Norton
In every line it revealed a determined effort to tear apart the great trusts and to put all business on a competitive basis.History of the United States | Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard
Say, round up the gang, will you, while I'm licking some of this stuff into shape for you to tear apart?Spacehounds of IPC | Edward Elmer Smith
He discovered, also, what old stumps to tear apart when he wanted a pleasantly acid tonic dose of the larvæ of the wood-ant.The Heart of the Ancient Wood | Charles G. D. Roberts
By raising my elbow to its original position, and using it as a lever, I could tear apart the crushed fibres.The Wild Huntress | Mayne Reid