collapse definition, meaning - what is collapse in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “collapse”

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collapse

verb uk   us   /kəˈlæps/

collapse verb (FALL)

B2 [I] to fall down suddenly because of pressure or having no strength or support: Thousands of buildings collapsed in the earthquake. The chair collapsed under her weight.figurative He thought his whole world had collapsed when his wife died.B2 [I] If someone collapses, they fall down because of being sick or weak: He collapsed and died of a heart attack. [I or T] to fold something into a smaller shape, usually so it can be stored, or (especially of furniture) to fold in this way: All chairs collapse for easy storage.
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collapse verb (FAIL)

C2 [I] (of people and business) to suddenly be unable to continue or work correctly: Lots of people lost their jobs when the property market collapsed. Talks between management and unions have collapsed. Share prices collapsed (= became lower suddenly) after news of poor trading.
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collapse

noun uk   us   /kəˈlæps/

collapse noun (FAILURE)

B2 [C or U] the sudden failure of a system, organization, business, etc.: I don't know what caused the collapse of her marriage. A poor economy has caused the collapse of thousands of small businesses. Negotiations between the two countries are on the brink/verge of collapse (= very soon going to fail). He suffered a mental/nervous collapse after ten years' teaching.
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collapse noun (FALL)

[S or U] the sudden falling movement of a person or structure that has become too weak to stand: He was taken to hospital after his collapse on the pitch. the collapse of a tower block during the earthquake
(Definition of collapse from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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