collapse
I. verb (collapsed; collapsing) Etymology: Latin collapsus, past participle of collabi, from com- + labi to fall, slide — more at sleep Date: 1732 intransitive verb 1. to fall or shrink together abruptly and completely ; fall into a jumbled or flattened mass through the force of external pressure <
a blood vessel that collapsed
>
2. to break down completely ; disintegrate <
his case had collapsed in a mass of legal wreckage — Erle Stanley Gardner
>
3. to cave or fall in or give way <
the bridge collapsed
>
4. to suddenly lose force, significance, effectiveness, or worth <
fears that the currency may collapse
>
5. to break down in vital energy, stamina, or self-control through exhaustion or disease; especially to fall helpless or unconscious 6. to fold down into a more compact shape <
a chair that collapses
>
transitive verb 1. to cause to collapse <
buildings collapsed by an earthquake
>
2. condense <
collapse several stories into one
>
collapsibility nouncollapsible adjective II. noun Date: 1801 1. a. a breakdown in vital energy, strength, or stamina b. a state of extreme prostration and physical depression (as from circulatory failure or great loss of body fluids) c. an airless state of all or part of a lung originating spontaneously or induced surgically 2. the act or action of collapsing <
the cutting of many tent ropes, the collapse of the canvas — Rudyard Kipling
>
3. a sudden failure ; breakdown, ruin 4. a sudden loss of force, value, or effect <
the collapse of respect for ancient law and custom — L. S. B. Leakey
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Collapse — Col*lapse , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Collapsed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Collapsing}] [L. collapsus, p. p. of collabi to collapse; col + labi to fall, slide. See {Lapse}.] 1. To fall together suddenly, as the sides of a hollow vessel; to close by falling or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Collapse — Pays d’origine  France Genre musical Metal industriel Années d activité 1994 – Aujourd hui Labels …   Wikipédia en Français

  • collapse — ● collapse nom masculin (anglais collapse, affaissement) Dommage susceptible de survenir au cours du séchage artificiel du bois, se traduisant par des affaissements et des déformations internes …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • collapse — [n] downfall, breakdown bankruptcy, basket case*, cataclysm, catastrophe, cave in, conk out*, crackup*, crash, debacle, destruction, disintegration, disorganization, disruption, exhaustion, failure, faint, flop, prostration, ruination, ruining,… …   New thesaurus

  • collapse — [kə laps′] vi. collapsed, collapsing [< L collapsus, pp. of collabi < com , together + labi, to fall: see LAP1] 1. to fall down or fall to pieces, as when supports or sides fail to hold; cave in; shrink together suddenly 2. to break down… …   English World dictionary

  • Collapse — Col*lapse , n. 1. A falling together suddenly, as of the sides of a hollow vessel. [1913 Webster] 2. A sudden and complete failure; an utter failure of any kind; a breakdown. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] 3. (Med.) Extreme depression or sudden failing …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • collapse — index catastrophe, debacle, decline, defeat, destruction, deteriorate, detriment, disaster, disease …   Law dictionary

  • collapse — (v.) 1732, from L. collapsus, pp. of collabi fall together, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + labi to fall, slip (see LAPSE (Cf. lapse)). The adj. collapsed is attested from c.1600, from L. collapsus, and perhaps this suggested a verb. R …   Etymology dictionary

  • collapse — ► VERB 1) suddenly fall down or give way. 2) (of a person) fall down as a result of physical breakdown. 3) fail suddenly and completely. ► NOUN 1) an instance of a structure collapsing. 2) a sudden failure or breakdown. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

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