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Related to collapse: lung collapse


v. col·lapsed, col·laps·ing, col·laps·es
1. To fall down or inward suddenly; cave in.
2. To break down suddenly in strength or health and thereby cease to function: a monarchy that collapsed.
3. To fold compactly: chairs that collapse for storage.
To cause to fold, break down, or fall down or inward.
1. The act of falling down or inward, as from loss of supports.
2. An abrupt failure of function, strength, or health; a breakdown.
3. An abrupt loss of perceived value or of effect: the collapse of popular respect for the integrity of world leaders.

[Latin collābī, collāps-, to fall together : com-, com- + lābī, to fall.]

col·laps′i·bil′i·ty n.
col·laps′i·ble adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (intr) to fall down or cave in suddenly: the whole building collapsed.
2. (intr) to fail completely: his story collapsed on investigation.
3. (intr) to break down or fall down from lack of strength
4. to fold (furniture, etc) compactly or (of furniture, etc) to be designed to fold compactly
5. the act or instance of suddenly falling down, caving in, or crumbling
6. a sudden failure or breakdown
[C18: from Latin collāpsus, from collābī to fall in ruins, from lābī to fall]
colˈlapsible, colˈlapsable adj
colˌlapsiˈbility, colˌlapsability n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. -lapsed, -laps•ing,
n. v.i.
1. to fall or cave in; crumble suddenly.
2. to be made so that sections or parts can be folded up, as for storage.
3. to break down; fail utterly: The peace talks have collapsed.
4. to fall unconscious or fall down, as from a heart attack or exhaustion.
5. (of lungs) to come into an airless state.
6. to fall or decline suddenly, as in value.
7. to cause to collapse.
8. a falling in, down, or together: trapped by the collapse of a tunnel.
9. a sudden, complete failure; breakdown.
[1725–35; < Latin collāpsus, past participle of collābī to fall, fall in ruins =col- col-1 + lābī to fall]
col•laps′i•ble, adj.
col•laps`i•bil′i•ty, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. Caved in like a sinkhole —Jonathan Valin
  2. Caving in like a mud dam —Kurt Rheinheimer
  3. (Periods in one’s life that once seem important until you look back on them) collapsed as flat as packing cartons —Jonathan Penner

    In a short story entited Emotion Recollected in Tranquility, the author tied collapsed packing carton comparison to the collapse of part of one’s life.

  4. Collapsed like an elephant pierced by a bullet in some vital spot —Kingsley Amis
  5. Collapsed like a rotten tree —Erich Maria Remarque
  6. Collapsed like a rump-shot dog —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  7. (Half a dozen career daydreams) collapsed like a telescope —Thomas McGuane
  8. Collapsed like a wounded soldier in the mud —Z. Vance Wilson
  9. Collapsed to the floor like a tent that has had all the guy ropes and poles removed at the same time —Jimmy Sangster
  10. Collapsed upon the sea as if his body had telescoped into itself, like a picnic beaker —Joyce Cary
  11. (His body) collapsed vertically like a punctured concertina —Frank Ross

    An older, simpler variation by Irving Cobb: “Fold up like a concertina.”

  12. (One day would) collapse like a peony —Jilly Cooper
  13. Collapse like a sack of meal —Anon

    The sack of meal as a comparison linked to falling, collapsing or toppling has seeded so much use and extension that one can only list some of its in-print appearances: “Went over like a sack of meal” (Frank O’Connor); “Fall heavily, like a sack of meal” (S. J. Perelman); “Went down … like an empty sack” (John M. Synge); “Dropped, like a flour sack falling from a loft” (Gerald Kersh). Most commonly overheard in everyday conversation is “Collapse like an empty paper bag.”

  14. Collapse like a snowman in the sun —Anon
  15. Collapse like a tent when the pole is kicked out from under it —Loren D. Estleman
  16. Collapse … like empty garments —Joyce Cary Collapse like sandcastles against the ocean tide —Anon
  17. Collapse like a punctured blister —Mike Sommer
  18. Collapse like the cheeks of a starved man —Charles Dickens
  19. Collapsing like a cardboard carton thrown on a bonfire —Margaret Atwood
  20. Comes apart [no longer able to control laughter] like a slow-ripping seam —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  21. Crashed on the leather sofa, going down like a B-52 with a bellyful of shrapnel —Jonathan Kellerman
  22. [Souvenirs of a romance] crumble like flowers pressed in dictionaries —Judith Martin
  23. Crumble like tinder —Anon
  24. (A small white house that was) crumbling at the corners like stale cake left out on a plate —Jonathan Valin
  25. Crumbling like one of those dry sponge cakes —Francis King
  26. Crumpled like caterpillars on mulberry leaves —James Purdy
  27. (She) crumpled like paper crushed in a fist and began to cry —Harold Adams
  28. Crumpled up as if he were a paper flower —Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  29. Crumples like a used-up piece of paper —Daphne Merkin
  30. [Gulls] downed … like a tumbled kite —John Hall Wheelock
  31. (The bird) dropped like an arrow —Leo Tolstoy
  32. Dropped like an elephant’s trunk —Eudora Welty
  33. Dropped like one hit in the head by a stone from a sling —Eudora Welty
  34. Drops like a piece of flotsam —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  35. Falling as gently and slowly as a kite —Elizabeth Hardwick
  36. Fall over like a frozen board —William H. Gass
  37. Fall to the floor like misfired cannon balls —John Updike
  38. (She’s welcome to climb with man if she wishes … and) fall with a crash like a trayful of dishes —Amy Lowell
  39. Fell as low as a toad —American colloquialism, attributed to Midwest
  40. (Accents of peace and pity) fell like dew (upon my heart) —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  41. Fell … like insects knocked off by a gardener’s spray —Derek Lambert
  42. Fell like one who is seized with sleep —Dante Alighieri
  43. Fell slowly forward like a toppling wall —Stephen Crane
  44. Fell to her knees like a nun seeking sudden forgiveness —James Crumley
  45. Flopped like the ears of a dog —Edgar Allan Poe
  46. Folded up like a pocket camera —George Ade
  47. Fold up like a cheap camera —Anon
  48. [First baseman] goes down slow as a toppling tree —W. P. Kinsella
  49. Going under [dying] like shipwrecked sailors —Thomas Keneally
  50. (Let life face him with a new demand on his understanding and then watch him) go soggy, like a wet meringue —D. H. Lawrence
  51. He dropped like a bullock, he lay like a block —Rudyard Kipling
  52. (When I tell him he must go, he suddenly) hits the floor like a toppled statue —Louise Erdrich
  53. Hit the floor like an anvil —Joseph Wambaugh
  54. (Slumped to the floor and) lay there like a punctured balloon —Myron Brinig

    Some variations on the balloon comparison: “I was going down … like a child’s balloon as it gradually lets out air” (Eugene Ionesco’s play, The Stroller in the Air); “Ripples to the pavement like a deflated balloon” from T. Coraghessan Boyle’s novel, Water Music, Little.

  55. Like an emptying tube, after a couple of minutes he collapses —Erich Maria Remarque
  56. Over she went … like a little puff of milkweed —Eudora Welty
  57. Pitched forward like a felled tree —Oakley Hall
  58. (His heaving bulk suddenly) sagged, like a sail bereft of wind —Jan Kubicki
  59. [Old man] scrunched like an old gray fetus —Grace Paley
  60. Thudded like a bird against the glass wall —Ross Macdonald
  61. Topple over like a doll with a round base —Wilfrid Sheed
  62. Tumble down like a house of cards —George Du Maurier

    The many twists on tumbling, falling or collapsing cards as comparisons include Robert Browning’s “Fell like piled-up cards” and Edith Wharton’s “Collapsed like a playing card.”

  63. Tumbled down like the Tower of Babel —Bernard Malamud
  64. Tumbling dumb as a ninepin —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  65. We fell to the carpet like leaves circling in a light wind —James Crumley
  66. Went down like a ninepin —Edith Wharton

    This still popular simile to describe a sudden fall was probably in use before its appearance in Wharton’s story, The Pelican.

  67. Went down like a plumb line —Lawrence Durrell
  68. Went down like a pole-axed steer —Donald Seaman
  69. Went over [after being hit] like a paper cut-out and lay just as flat as one —Cornell Woolrich
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: collapsed
Gerund: collapsing

I collapse
you collapse
he/she/it collapses
we collapse
you collapse
they collapse
I collapsed
you collapsed
he/she/it collapsed
we collapsed
you collapsed
they collapsed
Present Continuous
I am collapsing
you are collapsing
he/she/it is collapsing
we are collapsing
you are collapsing
they are collapsing
Present Perfect
I have collapsed
you have collapsed
he/she/it has collapsed
we have collapsed
you have collapsed
they have collapsed
Past Continuous
I was collapsing
you were collapsing
he/she/it was collapsing
we were collapsing
you were collapsing
they were collapsing
Past Perfect
I had collapsed
you had collapsed
he/she/it had collapsed
we had collapsed
you had collapsed
they had collapsed
I will collapse
you will collapse
he/she/it will collapse
we will collapse
you will collapse
they will collapse
Future Perfect
I will have collapsed
you will have collapsed
he/she/it will have collapsed
we will have collapsed
you will have collapsed
they will have collapsed
Future Continuous
I will be collapsing
you will be collapsing
he/she/it will be collapsing
we will be collapsing
you will be collapsing
they will be collapsing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been collapsing
you have been collapsing
he/she/it has been collapsing
we have been collapsing
you have been collapsing
they have been collapsing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been collapsing
you will have been collapsing
he/she/it will have been collapsing
we will have been collapsing
you will have been collapsing
they will have been collapsing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been collapsing
you had been collapsing
he/she/it had been collapsing
we had been collapsing
you had been collapsing
they had been collapsing
I would collapse
you would collapse
he/she/it would collapse
we would collapse
you would collapse
they would collapse
Past Conditional
I would have collapsed
you would have collapsed
he/she/it would have collapsed
we would have collapsed
you would have collapsed
they would have collapsed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.collapse - an abrupt failure of function or complete physical exhaustioncollapse - an abrupt failure of function or complete physical exhaustion; "the commander's prostration demoralized his men"
illness, sickness, unwellness, malady - impairment of normal physiological function affecting part or all of an organism
crack-up, breakdown - a mental or physical breakdown
shock - (pathology) bodily collapse or near collapse caused by inadequate oxygen delivery to the cells; characterized by reduced cardiac output and rapid heartbeat and circulatory insufficiency and pallor; "loss of blood is an important cause of shock"
heat hyperpyrexia, heatstroke - collapse caused by exposure to excessive heat
algidity - prostration characterized by cold and clammy skin and low blood pressure
2.collapse - a natural event caused by something suddenly falling down or caving in; "the roof is in danger of collapse"; "the collapse of the old star under its own gravity"
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent - an event that happens
cave in, subsidence - the sudden collapse of something into a hollow beneath it
debacle, fiasco - a sudden and violent collapse
implosion - a sudden inward collapse; "the implosion of a light bulb"
3.collapse - the act of throwing yourself down; "he landed on the bed with a great flop"
descent - the act of changing your location in a downward direction
4.collapse - a sudden large decline of business or the prices of stocks (especially one that causes additional failures)
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent - an event that happens
Verb1.collapse - break down, literally or metaphoricallycollapse - break down, literally or metaphorically; "The wall collapsed"; "The business collapsed"; "The dam broke"; "The roof collapsed"; "The wall gave in"; "The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice"
change - undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature; "She changed completely as she grew older"; "The weather changed last night"
implode, go off - burst inward; "The bottle imploded"
abandon, give up - stop maintaining or insisting on; of ideas or claims; "He abandoned the thought of asking for her hand in marriage"; "Both sides have to give up some claims in these negotiations"
buckle, crumple - fold or collapse; "His knees buckled"
flop - fall loosely; "He flopped into a chair"
break - curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves; "The surf broke"
slide down, slump, sink - fall or sink heavily; "He slumped onto the couch"; "My spirits sank"
collapse, burst - cause to burst; "The ice broke the pipe"
2.collapse - collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack
drop like flies - rapidly collapse, die, or drop out in large numbers; "the contestants dropped like flies when the thermometer hit one hundred degrees"
fall over, go over - fall forward and down; "The old woman went over without a sound"
suffer, sustain, have, get - undergo (as of injuries and illnesses); "She suffered a fracture in the accident"; "He had an insulin shock after eating three candy bars"; "She got a bruise on her leg"; "He got his arm broken in the scuffle"
3.collapse - fold or close up; "fold up your umbrella"; "collapse the music stand"
fold, fold up, turn up - bend or lay so that one part covers the other; "fold up the newspaper"; "turn up your collar"
deflate - collapse by releasing contained air or gas; "deflate a balloon"
concertina - collapse like a concertina
4.collapse - fall apart; "the building crumbled after the explosion"; "Negotiations broke down"
change integrity - change in physical make-up
5.collapse - cause to burst; "The ice broke the pipe"
pop - cause to burst with a loud, explosive sound; "The child popped the balloon"
cave in, collapse, fall in, give way, founder, give, break - break down, literally or metaphorically; "The wall collapsed"; "The business collapsed"; "The dam broke"; "The roof collapsed"; "The wall gave in"; "The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice"
6.collapse - suffer a nervous breakdown
suffer, sustain, have, get - undergo (as of injuries and illnesses); "She suffered a fracture in the accident"; "He had an insulin shock after eating three candy bars"; "She got a bruise on her leg"; "He got his arm broken in the scuffle"
7.collapse - lose significance, effectiveness, or value; "The school system is collapsing"; "The stock market collapsed"
weaken - become weaker; "The prisoner's resistance weakened after seven days"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. fall down, fall, give way, subside, cave in, crumple, fall apart at the seams A section of the Bay Bridge had collapsed.
2. fail, fold, founder, break down, fall through, come to nothing, go belly-up (informal) His business empire collapsed under a massive burden of debt.
3. faint, break down, pass out, black out, swoon (literary), crack up (informal), keel over (informal), flake out (informal) It's common to see people in the streets collapsing from hunger.
1. falling down, ruin, falling apart, cave-in, disintegration, subsidence Floods and a collapse of the tunnel roof were a constant risk.
2. failure, slump, breakdown, flop, downfall Their economy is teetering on the edge of collapse.
3. faint, breakdown, blackout, prostration A few days after his collapse he was sitting up in bed.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To fall in:
Idiom: give way.
2. To suddenly lose all health or strength:
Informal: crack up.
Slang: conk out.
Idiom: give way.
3. To give way mentally and emotionally:
break (down), crack, snap.
Informal: crack up, fold.
4. To undergo sudden financial failure:
Informal: fold.
Idioms: go belly up, go bust, go on the rocks, go to the wall.
5. To undergo capture, defeat, or ruin:
1. A sudden sharp decline in mental, emotional, or physical health:
Informal: crackup.
2. An abrupt disastrous failure:
3. A disastrous overwhelming defeat or ruin:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
يَتَهاوى، يَتَكَسَّريَتَوَقَّف، يَفْشَليَسْقُط، يَتَداعىيَنْهاريَنْهارُ
zřítit seztroskotatsložitzhroutit se
kollapsebryde sammenfalde omfalde sammenklappe sammen
srušiti se
falla niîur, mistakastfalla samanfalla saman, hrynjahrynja saman
ciest neveiksmiiebruktiegrūtsaliktsaļimt
slabostzrušitevzrušiti se
çökmekdurmakdüşüp bayılmakkatla makkesilmek
đổ sập


A. N (Med) → colapso m; [of building, roof, floor] → hundimiento m, desplome m; [of government] → caída f; [of plans, scheme] → fracaso m; (financial) → ruina f; [of civilization, society] → ocaso m (Comm) [of business] → quiebra f; [of prices] → hundimiento m, caída f
1. [person] (Med) → sufrir un colapso; (with laughter) → morirse (de risa); [building, roof, floor] → hundirse, desplomarse; [civilization, society] → desaparecer, extinguirse; [government] → caer; [scheme] → fracasar; [business] → quebrar; [prices] → hundirse, bajar repentinamente
the bridge collapsed during the stormel puente se vino abajo durante la tormenta
the deal collapsedel negocio fracasó
the company collapsedla compañía quebró or se hundió
2. (= fold down) → plegarse, doblarse
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= fall down) [building] → s'effondrer, s'écrouler
(= fall down) [person] → s'effondrer, s'écrouler
He collapsed → Il s'est effondré.
(= become ill) [person] → s'écrouler
(= fail) [bank, company, economy] → faire faillite
[market] → s'effondrer; [price] → chuter
[hope] → s'effondrer
[government] → s'écrouler
(= break down) [negotiations, talks] → échouer; [marriage] → se solder par un échec
[building] → écroulement m, effondrement m
(= sudden illness) [person] → écroulement m
[government, regime] → chute f; [communism] → chute f
[company] → faillite f
[market] → effondrement m; [price] → chute m
[country] (economic, financial)effondrement m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(person)zusammenbrechen; (mentally, = have heart attack also) → einen Kollaps erleiden or haben; his health collapseder hatte einen Kollaps; they all collapsed with laughtersie konnten sich alle vor Lachen nicht mehr halten; she collapsed onto her bed, exhaustedsie plumpste erschöpft aufs Bett
(= fall down, cave in)zusammenbrechen; (building, wall, roof also)einstürzen; (lungs)zusammenfallen, kollabieren
(fig: = fail) → zusammenbrechen; (negotiations)scheitern; (civilization)untergehen; (prices)stürzen, purzeln (inf); (government)zu Fall kommen, stürzen; (plans)scheitern, zu Fall kommen; (hopes)sich zerschlagen; his whole world collapsed about himeine ganze Welt stürzte über ihm zusammen; their whole society collapsedihre ganze Gesellschaftsordnung brach zusammen
(= fold, table, umbrella, bicycle etc) → sich zusammenklappen lassen; (telescope, walking stick)sich zusammenschieben lassen; (life raft)sich zusammenlegen or -falten lassen
vt table, umbrella, bicycle etczusammenklappen; telescope, walking stickzusammenschieben; life raftzusammenlegen or -falten
(of person)Zusammenbruch m; (= nervous breakdown also, heart attack)Kollaps m
(of object)Zusammenbruch m; (of building, wall, roof also)Einsturz m; (of lungs)Kollaps m
(fig: = failure) → Zusammenbruch m; (of negotiations also)Scheitern nt; (of civilization)Untergang m; (of government)Sturz m; (of hopes)Zerschlagung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. n (gen) → crollo; (of government) → caduta; (of plans, scheme, business) → fallimento; (of health) → collasso
2. vi (see n) → crollare, cadere, fallire, avere un collasso (fam) (with laughter) → piegarsi in due dalle risate
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(kəˈlӕps) verb
1. to fall down and break into pieces. The bridge collapsed under the weight of the traffic.
2. (of a person) to fall down especially unconscious, because of illness, shock etc. She collapsed with a heart attack.
3. to break down, fail. The talks between the two countries have collapsed.
4. to fold up or to (cause to) come to pieces (intentionally). Do these chairs collapse?
colˈlapsible adjective
able to be folded up etc. These chairs are collapsible.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يَنْهارُ zřítit se kollapse zusammenbrechen καταρρέω desmoronarse romahtaa s’effondrer srušiti se crollare 崩れる 무너지다 instorten kollapse załamać się desmaiar, desmoronar свалиться kollapsa พังทลาย çökmek đổ sập 崩溃
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. colapso; postración; desplome;
circulatory ______ circulatorio;
___ therapyterapia de ___;
v. sufrir un __.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n (person) desmayo, caída; (lung, etc.) colapso; vi (person) desmayarse, caerse, desplomarse; (lung, etc.) colapsarse
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
What I said to myself above all was that Miles had got something out of me and that the proof of it, for him, would be just this awkward collapse. He had got out of me that there was something I was much afraid of and that he should probably be able to make use of my fear to gain, for his own purpose, more freedom.
When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.
Edgar saw the relaxing of the muscles of face and brow, and the almost collapse of the heavy eyelids which seemed tumbling downward in sleep.
Then came the final and complete collapse of Lilla, who, without a sound, sank down on the floor.
He clung to the frame of the porthole as the airship tossed and swayed, and stared down through the light rain that now drove before the wind, into the twilight streets, watching people running out of the houses, watching buildings collapse and fires begin.
Passepartout opened wide his eyes, raised his eyebrows, held up his hands, and seemed about to collapse, so overcome was he with stupefied astonishment.
I was in a state of collapse. He said something vague about his forgetting to warn me, and asked me briefly when I left the house and what I had seen.
But it became evident to her that she could never be really comfortable again in a place which had seen the collapse of her family's attempt to "claim kin"-- and, through her, even closer union--with the rich d'Urbervilles.
Poor Marilla was only preserved from complete collapse by remembering that it was not irreverence, but simply spiritual ignorance on the part of Anne that was responsible for this extraordinary petition.
I saw people struggling shorewards, and heard their screaming and shouting faintly above the seething and roar of the Martian's collapse.
The ape-man whirled La to his back and just as the tree inclined slowly in its first movement out of the perpendicular, before the sudden rush of its final collapse, he swung to the branches of a lesser neighbor.
A flying fragment of that collapse, a mere splash, enveloped them in one swirl from their feet over their heads, filling violently their ears, mouths and nostrils with salt water.