A portion of a collapsed freeway.
An example of to collapse is someone falling to the ground when their knees give way after the person hears terrible news.
intransitive verb-·lapsed′, -·laps′ing
- to fall down or fall to pieces, as when supports or sides fail to hold; cave in; shrink together suddenly
- to break down suddenly; fail; give way: the enemy's defense collapsed
- to break down or fail suddenly in health or physical strength
- to fall down, as from a blow or exhaustion
- to fall or drop drastically, as in value or force
- to fold or come together compactly
Origin of collapsefrom Classical Latin collapsus, past participle of collabi from com-, together + labi, to fall: see lap
verbcol·lapsed, col·laps·ing, col·laps·es
- To fall down or inward suddenly; cave in.
- To break down suddenly in strength or health and thereby cease to function: a monarchy that collapsed.
- To fold compactly: chairs that collapse for storage.
- The act of falling down or inward, as from loss of supports.
- An abrupt failure of function, strength, or health; a breakdown.
- An abrupt loss of perceived value or of effect: the collapse of popular respect for the integrity of world leaders.
Origin of collapseLatin collābī collāps- to fall together com- com- lābī to fall
(third-person singular simple present collapses, present participle collapsing, simple past and past participle collapsed)
- (intransitive) To fall down suddenly; to cave in
- (intransitive) To cease to function due to a sudden breakdown; to fail suddenly and completely
- Pyramid schemes tend to generate profits for a while and then collapse.
- (intransitive) To fold compactly
- (cricket) For several batsmen to get out in quick succession
- To cause something to collapse.
- Hurry up and collapse the tent so we can get moving.
- (intransitive) To pass out and fall to the floor or ground, as from exhaustion or other illness; to faint
- The exhausted singer collapsed onstage and had to be taken to the hospital.
- The act of collapsing
- Constant function, one-valued function (in automata theory) (in particular application causing a reset)
From Latin collapsus (past participle of collabi)