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collapse - definition and synonyms

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verb     collapse pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecollapsing
past tensecollapsed
past participlecollapsed
  1. 1
    [intransitive] if a building or other structure collapses, it suddenly falls down

    There were fears that the roof would collapse.

  2. 3
    [intransitive] to suddenly fall down and become very sick or unconscious

    A man had collapsed on the hospital steps.

    1. a.
      to let your body fall onto a chair, bed, etc. because you are very tired
      collapse in/into/onto:

      He collapsed in an exhausted heap.

  3. 4
    [intransitive] an object that collapses can be folded or separated into parts, so that it takes up less space

    The chairs collapse for easy storage.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to fold something, or to separate its parts, so that it takes up less space

      Could you help me to collapse the table?

  4. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to lose the air that is inside and become flat, or to make this happen

    His heart was failing and one of his lungs had collapsed.

  5. 6
    [intransitive] if you collapse into laughter, you start laughing in an uncontrolled way
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snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

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