- The definition of collapse means to cave in, to fall or to break down into pieces when the support to stand is lost.
An example of to collapse is someone falling to the ground when their knees give way after the person hears terrible news.
A portion of a collapsed freeway.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- 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: ; from Classical Latin collapsus, past participle of collabi ; from com-, together plush labi, to fall: see lap
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb col·lapsed, col·laps·ing, col·laps·es verb, intransitive
- 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: Latin collābī, collāps-, to fall together : com-, com- + lābī, to fall.
- col·lapsˌi·bilˈi·ty noun
- col·lapsˈa·ble, col·lapsˈi·ble adjective
collapse - Medical Definition
- To break down suddenly in strength or health and thereby fall into a condition of extreme prostration.
- To fall together or inward suddenly.
- A condition of extreme prostration.
- A falling together of the walls of a structure.
- The failure of a physical system.