From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfall apartfall aparta)if something falls apart, it breaks into different piecesIt just fell apart in my hands!b)if something is falling apart, it is in very bad conditionHe drives around in an old car that’s falling apart.c)if something falls apart, it fails completelyHe lost his job and his marriage fell apart.The country’s economy is in danger of falling apart. →apartfall apart phrasal verb1EFFECTIVEif an organization, system, relationship etc falls apart, it stops being effective or successfulDon’t be reckless or your plans may fall apart.The health service is falling apart at the seams.2be falling apartCONDITION/STATE OF something to be in very bad conditionTommy’s old bicycle was rusty and falling apart.3BREAKto break into piecesThe book fell apart in my hands.4FAILto be unable to deal with your personal or emotional problemsShe had to get some rest or she was going to fall apart.5somebody’s world/life falls apart if someone’s world or life falls apart, something very bad and serious happens which changes their lifeWhen his wife left him, his world fell apart. →fall→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
fall apart• Over the period of the Hinkley CInquiry, those claims finally fell apart.• There were gasps, moans, long pauses, the sound of tears falling, and of a man falling apart.• To this day I credit James's persistence in not letting us slip away or fall apart.• Within days, the historic deal inexplicably fell apart.• But everything fell apart and Shields began to slice through a non-existent home midfield.• The SovietUnionfell apart in 1991.• Finally, there had been the last few months, when everything had fallen apart with such shattering swiftness.falling apart at the seams• Our department is falling apart at the seams.• It was symptomatic of a system going soft, falling apart at the seams.be falling apart• I need some new shoes. These are falling apart.• The Underground seemed to be falling apart.• That car of yours is falling apart.• She liked her old apartment, but the neighborhood was falling apart.• The 911 system is falling apart.• Everything was falling apart, and I didn't know how to stop it.• How does a man even try to explain that he is falling apart because he doesn't kill people any more?• San Diego's publicbuildingsare falling apart, but the cityrefuses to do anything about it.• But things were falling apart much earlier than expected.• Mukhamedov's defection two years ago, just as Communismwas falling apart, will not be forgiven in a hurry.somebody’s world/life falls apart• When your world falls apart, do you get mad, get out or get even?