into pieces or parts; to pieces: to take a watch apart; an old barn falling apart from decay.
separately in place, time, motion, etc.: New York and Tokyo are thousands of miles apart. Our birthdays are three days apart.
to or at one side, with respect to place, purpose, or function: to put money apart for education; to keep apart from the group out of pride.
separately or individually in consideration: each factor viewed apart from the others.
aside (used with a gerund or noun): Joking apart, what do you think?
having independent or unique qualities, features, or characteristics (usually used following the noun it modifies): a class apart.
Verb phrases
take apart,
to disassemble: to take a clock apart.
Informal. to criticize; attack: She was taken apart for her controversial stand.
to subject to intense examination: He will take your feeble excuses apart.
apart from, aside from; in addition to; besides: Apart from other considerations, time is a factor.

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French a part to one side. See a-5, part

apartness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
apart (əˈpɑːt)
adj, —adv
1.  to pieces or in pieces: he had the television apart on the floor
2.  placed or kept separately or to one side for a particular purpose, reason, etc; aside (esp in the phrases setorput apart)
3.  separate in time, place, or position; at a distance: he stood apart from the group; two points three feet apart
4.  not being taken into account; aside: these difficulties apart, the project ran smoothly
5.  individual; distinct; separate: a race apart
6.  separately or independently in use, thought, or function: considered apart, his reasoning was faulty
7.  (preposition) apart from besides; other than
[C14: from Old French a part at (the) side]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. à part "to the side," from L. ad "to" + partem accusative of pars "a side" (see part).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with apart, also see come apart; fall apart; pick apart; poles apart; set apart; take apart; tear apart; tell apart.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It will immediately set your statement apart from those-and they are
  legion-that begin with a standard expository paragraph.
The euro zone either has to get deeper, or it will fall apart.
So perfect, in fact, that it's impossible to tell individuals apart from their
Taking apart a nuclear power plant that has reached the end of its life is a
  complicated task.
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