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tear apart

1

Upset or make distraught, as in The parents' divorce tore apart the grandparents. [Second half of 1800s]

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2

Criticize severely, as in The professor tore her paper apart. [Mid-1900s]

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3

Search some place completely, as in The police tore the house apart. [Second half of 1900s]

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4

Separate, especially unwillingly, as in The war tore many families apart.

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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.

Related Words for tear apart

offend, revile, persecute, insult, scold, chide, berate, admonish, upbraid, censure, castigate, reprimand, oppose, reproach, blow, break, rush, disintegrate, shatter, detonate