Meaning of COLLAPSE in English


I. kə-ˈlaps verb

( col·lapsed ; col·laps·ing )

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 collapse s

transitive verb

1. : to cause to collapse

buildings collapsed by an earthquake

2. : condense

collapse several stories into one

• col·laps·ibil·i·ty -ˌlap-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē noun

• col·laps·ible -ˈlap-sə-bəl adjective

II. noun

Date: 1801


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

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.