take apart


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]

take apart
1.  to separate (something) into component parts
2.  to criticize or punish severely: the reviewers took the new play apart

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

take apart

  1. Dismantle or disassemble, as in They had to take apart the stereo before they could move it. This usage was first recorded in 1936.

  2. Examine thoroughly, analyze or dissect, as in The teacher embarrassed Tom by taking his thesis apart in front of the class. [Mid-1900s]

  3. Beat up, thrash, as in You'd better be careful; those boys will take you apart. [Slang; mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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