Tear Apart: What Does the Useful Idiomatic Phrase “Tear Apart” Mean?

Last Updated on March 21, 2020

“Tear apart” is an idiom that is quite common and used quite frequently. You may know that the phrase can mean to rip something apart, but it can also have a figurative meaning. Here you will find the meaning of the idiom “tear apart” and information on its origin regarding its figurative meaning. You will also find some example sentences and conversations to display how this phrase is used correctly in this figurative manner. Lastly, you will be offered some suggestions regarding other words or phrases you could use in the place of “tear apart” to convey the same meaning.

Tear Apart

Tear Apart Meaning

The phrase “tear apart” when used in the figurative sense means to ridicule or pick on someone without relenting.

Origin of this idiom

There is no specific information regarding the origin of this phrase in the figurative sense of the phrase. However, it is most likely assumed that the figurative meaning was derived from the literal meaning to destroy something. If you “tear apart” someone, it means you are making every attempt to destroy the person that they are.

“Tear Apart” Examples

Example Sentences

  • It is often a common practice in politics to tear apart your opponent using any means possible during a campaign for office.
  • You should not tear apart a person unless he/she deserves it because doing so can damage a person for life.
  • Before their lives were torn apart, they were a happy family.
  • The speaker was applauded as he tore apart the prime minister’s policies.
  • The civil war tore apart the fabric of society.
  • I don’t want my family to be torn apart by quarrels.
  • The play portrays a marriage torn apart by external forces.
  • For years, the region has been torn apart by armed conflicts.
  • The country has been torn apart by years of civil strife.
  • The little Boy tried to tear apart the phone Book.
  • Sometimes i wish i had a garden to tear apart.
  • The country has been torn apart by years of civil strife.

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends.

  • Friend 1: I used to be a lot friendlier with the neighbors but that has changed over the years.
  • Friend 2: Why is that? Did you get a new neighbor or something?
  • Friend 1: No, but I had to tear apart her husband one day because he almost hit one of my kids with his car.
  • Friend 2: Oh wow! Were they in the street?
  • Friend 1: Yes, but they were up by the curb. He almost hit them because he was paying too much attention to his cellphone instead of watching where he was going.

A conversation between a foreman on the floor of a warehouse and his boss.

  • Boss: What did Henry do that caused you to go off on him like you did?
  • Foreman: He was horsing about, sir. He almost hit Mark with the forklift.
  • Boss: Okay, I can see why it was cause for alarm. However, we do not tear apart employees like that on the floor in front of other employees. Next time, take him aside and talk to him privately.
  • Foreman: Yes. sir.

Alternatives to “Tear Apart”

There are many ways a person can say “tear apart” in the figurative sense to still convey the same meaning. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Trash
  • Blow up
  • Tear down

Meaning of “Tear Apart” | Image

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