Pronunciation: (ku-laps'), [key]
—v., -lapsed, -laps•ing,
1. to fall or cave in; crumble suddenly: The roof collapsed and buried the crowd.
2. to be made so that sections or parts can be folded up, as for convenient storage: This bridge table collapses.
3. to break down; come to nothing; fail: Despite all their efforts the peace talks collapsed.
4. to fall unconscious or as if unconscious or physically depleted, as from a stroke, heart attack, disease, or exhaustion.
a. to sink into extreme weakness.
b. (of lungs) to come into an airless state.
to cause to collapse: He collapsed the table easily.
1. a falling in or together: Three miners were trapped by the collapse of the tunnel roof.
2. a sudden, complete failure; breakdown: The bribery scandal brought about the complete collapse of his industrial empire.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.