Meaning of COLLAPSE in English


I. kəˈlaps verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Latin collapsus, past participle of collabi to collapse, from com- + labi to fall, slide — more at sleep

intransitive verb

1. : to break down completely : fall apart in confused disorganization : crumble into insignificance or nothingness : disintegrate

his case had collapsed in a mass of legal wreckage — Erle Stanley Gardner

a flimsy banking enterprise which collapsed — R.A.Billington

2. : to fall or shrink together abruptly and completely : fall into a jumbled or flattened mass through the force of external pressure : fall in

the sides of a limp empty boat collapse

our interest collapses like a pricked balloon — G.M.Trevelyan

a blood vessel that collapsed

3. : to cave in, fall in, or give way : undergo ruin or destruction by or as if by falling down : become dispersed

its passage ripped away the crown of the arch and immediately the whole bridge collapsed — O.S.Nock

a magnetic field collapsing

4. : to suddenly lose force, significance, effectiveness, or worth

all his annoyance collapsed in a heap — Hamilton Basso

collapsing currencies of unstable countries

5. : to break down in vital energy, stamina, or self-control through exhaustion or disease : lose ability to perform accustomed activities : fall helpless or unconscious

a fireman collapsing from the fumes

several oarsmen collapsing after the hard race

collapsed into tears

6. : to fold down into a more compact shape : close together

a collapsing opera hat

a telescope that collapses

transitive verb

: to cause to collapse

collapse the movement

collapsing an infected lung

the explosion collapsed several buildings

collapse an opera hat

II. noun

( -s )


a. : a breakdown in vital energy, strength, or stamina : complete sudden enervation : sudden loss of accustomed abilities

the daughter's mental collapse through mounting frustration — Leslie Rees

b. : a state of extreme prostration and physical depression resulting from circulatory failure, great loss of body fluids, or heart disease and occurring terminally in diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, pneumonia — compare shock

c. : an airless state of a lung in whole or in part of spontaneous origin or induced surgically — see atelectasis

d. : an abnormal falling together of the walls of an organ

collapse of blood vessels

2. : the action of collapsing : the act or action of drawing together or permitting or causing a falling together

the cutting of many tent ropes, the collapse of the canvas — Rudyard Kipling


a. : breakdown : sudden failure : disintegration , ruin , destruction

the speedy disruption and eventual collapse of our entire society — Lewis Mumford

the panic … with its attendant collapse of grandiose dreams — American Guide Series: Minnesota

b. : sudden loss of force, value, effect, or significance

the collapse of respect for ancient law and custom — L.S.B.Leakey

to save the pound sterling from collapse — Leon Halden

4. : a defect in wood due to abnormal and irregular shrinkage and resulting in a wrinkled or corrugated appearance of the surface and sometimes also an internal honeycombing

5. : the sum of postbreeding regressive changes in the testes of a seasonal breeding male animal

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.