Meaning of COLLAPSE in English


I. col ‧ lapse 1 S3 AC /kəˈlæps/ BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ collapse ; noun : ↑ collapse ; adjective : ↑ collapsible ]

[ Date: 1700-1800 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: collapsus , past participle of collabi , from com- ( ⇨ COM- ) + labi 'to fall, slide' ]

1 . STRUCTURE [intransitive] if a building, wall etc collapses, it falls down suddenly, usually because it is weak or damaged:

Uncle Ted’s chair collapsed under his weight.

The roof had collapsed long ago.

2 . ILLNESS/INJURY [intransitive] to suddenly fall down or become unconscious because you are ill or weak:

He collapsed with a heart attack while he was dancing.

Marion’s legs collapsed under her.

3 . FAIL [intransitive] if a system, idea, or organization collapses, it suddenly fails or becomes too weak to continue:

The luxury car market has collapsed.

I thought that without me the whole project would collapse.

4 . PRICES [intransitive] if prices, levels etc collapse, they suddenly become much lower:

There were fears that property prices would collapse.

5 . SIT/LIE [intransitive] to suddenly sit down, especially because you are very tired or want to relax:

I was so exhausted when I got home, I just collapsed on the sofa.

6 . FOLD SOMETHING SMALLER [intransitive and transitive] if a piece of furniture or equipment collapses, or if you collapse it, you can fold it so that it becomes smaller ⇨ collapsible :

The legs on our card table collapse so we can store it in the closet.

7 . MEDICAL [intransitive] if a lung or a ↑ blood vessel collapses, it suddenly becomes flat, so that it no longer has any air or blood in it

• • •


▪ fall ( also fall over , fall down ) to suddenly go down onto the floor when standing, walking, or running:

She fell on the stairs and broke her ankle.


Children are always falling over.

▪ trip on/over something to fall or almost fall when you hit your foot against something:

Someone might trip over those toys.


I tripped on a piece of wood.

▪ slip to fall or almost fall when you are walking on a wet or very smooth surface:

She slipped and hurt her ankle.


I was scared I would slip on the highly polished floor.

▪ stumble to almost fall when you put your foot down in an awkward way:

He stumbled and almost fell.


One of our porters stumbled on the rough ground.

▪ collapse to fall suddenly and heavily to the ground, especially when you become unconscious:

One of the runners collapsed halfway through the race.

▪ lose your balance to become unsteady so that you start to fall over:

She lost her balance on the first step and fell down the stairs.


Have something to hold onto, in case you lose your balance.

▪ fall flat on your face to fall forwards so you are lying on your front on the ground:

She fell flat on her face getting out of the car.

II. collapse 2 AC BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ collapse ; noun : ↑ collapse ; adjective : ↑ collapsible ]

1 . BUSINESS/SYSTEM/IDEA ETC [singular, uncountable] a sudden failure in the way something works, so that it cannot continue

collapse of

the collapse of the Soviet Union

the threat of economic collapse

His business was in danger of collapse.

2 . BUILDING/STRUCTURE/FURNITURE ETC [uncountable] when something suddenly falls down:

the collapse of an apartment building during the earthquake

The ancient abbey was in imminent danger of collapse.

3 . ILLNESS/INJURY [singular, uncountable] when someone suddenly falls down or becomes unconscious because of an illness or injury:

The President said he was fine after his collapse yesterday.

She suffered a collapse under anaesthetic.

4 . MONEY/PRICES ETC [singular] a sudden decrease in the value of something:

the collapse of the stock market

collapse in

a collapse in the value of pensions

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.