Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

apart - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective, adverb apart pronunciation in American English /əˈpɑrt/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Apart can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb: We had to take the engine apart.
after the verb “to be”: I’m never happy when we’re apart.
as an adjective (only after a noun): Madagascar is a world apart.
in the preposition phrase apart from: Everyone was there apart from Ann and Gayle.
  1. 1
    if two people or things are apart, there is a space between them
    Stand with your feet apart.
    1. a.
      used for saying how far away from each other people or things are
      Their two farms are about a mile apart.
      Plant the seeds 10 inches apart.
    2. b.
      used for saying that one person or group is some distance away from the others
      The man was alone, sitting apart, watching people come and go.
      apart from: I saw Theresa at the graveside, standing apart from the rest of the family.
  2. 2
    used for saying how much time there is between events
    Two surveys carried out 30 years apart show little change in attitudes toward childcare.
    The two brothers were born six years apart.
  3. 3
    broken or divided into many different parts or pieces
    tear/rip/pull something apart: The explosion tore the plane apart.
    take something apart: If the problem is in the printer, we’ll have to take the whole thing apart.
    fall/come apart: The book came apart in my hands.
  4. 4
    [never before noun] without considering or including someone or something in a judgment
    Bribery apart, there is almost no method of persuasion that is not allowed.
  5. 5
    if you pull two things or people apart, you separate them
    We managed to drag the two men apart before they could harm each other.
    1. a.
      if two people are apart, they are not in the same place together
      We hate being apart, but Gary e-mails me every day.
      Aitken and his wife have been living apart.
  6. 6
    if two people, opinions, or ways of living are far apart, they are very different
    Galbraith’s views and my own are not far apart on the issue of free trade.
    When the talks ended, the two sides seemed as far apart as ever.
    be worlds apart (=be very different): They were worlds apart and doubted they could make the relationship work.
    1. a.
      different from all the other people or things
      The Swiss economy is a case apart, unlike any other.
      set someone apart (=make someone different from others): His style sets him apart from other writers.
    See also tell
  7. 7
    used for saying that an organization, country, or relationship is in a very bad state and is failing to stay together
    fall apart: Costello lost his job, and soon afterward his marriage fell apart.
    come apart: The county health system is coming apart, and only a large investment of cash can save it.
    tear something apart (=destroy an organization, country, etc.): Yugoslavia was being torn apart by ethnic conflicts.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a stupid person

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog