collapse

To collapse means to fall over, cave in, or totally crumple. After finding out that the stock market has collapsed and your investments along with it, you'd probably collapse to the ground and sob uncontrollably.

From the Latin collapsus, meaning “fall together," comes our English collapse, a word that functions as both noun and verb. Empires collapse after revolutions, and your dog will eventually collapse from exhaustion if he keeps chasing his tail in circles. But if a company falls apart after the boss retires, or you have a total breakdown cramming for exams, that's a kind of collapse, too.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: collapse

1
vn
break down, literally or metaphorically
a natural event caused by something suddenly falling down or caving in
2
vn
collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack
an abrupt failure of function or complete physical exhaustion
3
vn
lose significance, effectiveness, or value
a sudden large decline of business or the prices of stocks (especially one that causes additional failures)
4
n
the act of throwing yourself down
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: collapse
1

v break down, literally or metaphorically

“The wall collapsed
“The business collapsed
“The roof collapsed
Synonyms:
break, cave in, fall in, founder, give, give way
abandon, give up
stop maintaining or insisting on; of ideas or claims
burst
cause to burst
Types:
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go off, implode
burst inward
buckle, crumple
fold or collapse
flop
fall loosely
break
curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves
sink, slide down, slump
fall or sink heavily
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v fall apart

Synonyms:
break down, crumble, crumple, tumble
Type of:
change integrity
change in physical make-up

v fold or close up

collapse the music stand”
Types:
deflate
collapse by releasing contained air or gas
concertina
collapse like a concertina
Type of:
fold, fold up, turn up
bend or lay so that one part covers the other

v cause to burst

Synonyms:
burst
break, cave in, fall in, founder, give, give way
break down, literally or metaphorically
Types:
pop
cause to burst with a loud, explosive sound

n a natural event caused by something suddenly falling down or caving in

“the roof is in danger of collapse
“the collapse of the old star under its own gravity”
Types:
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cave in, subsidence
the sudden collapse of something into a hollow beneath it
debacle, fiasco
a sudden and violent collapse
implosion
a sudden inward collapse
gravitational collapse
the implosion of a star resulting from its own gravity; the result is a smaller and denser celestial object
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens
2

v collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack

Synonyms:
break down
Types:
drop like flies
rapidly collapse, die, or drop out in large numbers
fall over, go over
fall forward and down
Type of:
get, have, suffer, sustain
undergo (as of injuries and illnesses)

v suffer a nervous breakdown

Synonyms:
break up, crack, crack up, crock up
Type of:
get, have, suffer, sustain
undergo (as of injuries and illnesses)

n an abrupt failure of function or complete physical exhaustion

Synonyms:
prostration
Types:
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breakdown, crack-up
a mental or physical breakdown
shock
(pathology) bodily collapse or near collapse caused by inadequate oxygen delivery to the cells; characterized by reduced cardiac output and rapid heartbeat and circulatory insufficiency and pallor
heat hyperpyrexia, heatstroke
collapse caused by exposure to excessive heat
algidity
prostration characterized by cold and clammy skin and low blood pressure
nervous breakdown
a severe or incapacitating emotional disorder
cardiogenic shock
shock caused by cardiac arrest
hypovolemic shock
shock caused by severe blood or fluid loss
obstructive shock
shock caused by obstruction of blood flow
distributive shock
shock caused by poor distribution of the blood flow
insulin reaction, insulin shock
hypoglycemia produced by excessive insulin in the system causing coma
heat exhaustion, heat prostration
a condition marked by dizziness and nausea and weakness caused by depletion of body fluids and electrolytes
insolation, siriasis, sunstroke, thermic fever
sudden prostration due to exposure to the sun or excessive heat
Type of:
illness, malady, sickness, unwellness
impairment of normal physiological function affecting part or all of an organism
3

v lose significance, effectiveness, or value

“The school system is collapsing
“The stock market collapsed
Type of:
weaken
become weaker

n a sudden large decline of business or the prices of stocks (especially one that causes additional failures)

Synonyms:
crash
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens
4

n the act of throwing yourself down

Synonyms:
flop
Type of:
descent
the act of changing your location in a downward direction
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