American English

Definition of apart adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1separated by a distance, of space or time The two houses stood 500 feet apart. Their birthdays are only three days apart. (figurative) The two sides in the talks are still a long way apart (= are far from reaching an agreement).
  2. 2not together; separate or separately We're living apart now. Over the years, Emily and I had drifted apart. She keeps herself apart from other people. I can't tell the twins apart (= see the difference between them).
  3. 3into pieces The whole thing just came apart in my hands. We had to take the engine apart. When his wife died, his world fell apart.
  4. Idioms
    be poles apart
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    to be widely separated; to have no interests that you share Her own friends were poles apart from his.
    be worlds apart
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    to be completely different in attitudes, opinions, etc.
    rip somebody/something apart/to shreds, etc.
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    to destroy something; to criticize someone very strongly
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: apart