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Go to pieces   /goʊ tu pˈisəz/   Listen
Go to pieces

verb
1.
Lose one's emotional or mental composure.  Synonym: fall apart.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Go to pieces" Quotes from Famous Books



... about poor Tad Warren's wife, bunch of us got together and made up a purse for her. Nothing more pathetic than these poor little women that poke down the cocktails to keep excited and then go to pieces. ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... would not notice him for he knew he could not talk to them, that his voice would shake and that he would go to pieces. Now that he saw them, joyous, uproarious, bantering, wearing badges on their sleeves, he realized that what he had done was nothing at all. He heard Scoutmaster Ned humorously belittling the exploits of his own heroes. No, Peter Piper would not step rashly into that ...
— Pee-wee Harris on the Trail • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... perish if what is called the church did go to pieces; a truer church, for there might well be a truer, would arise out of her ruins. But let no one seek to destroy; let him that builds only take heed that he build with gold and silver and precious stones, not with wood and hay and stubble! If the church were so built, who could harm it! if ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... against such beliefs, and I suppose that every thoughtful man among us feels that a great danger to our faith to-day comes from the force with which that current swings us round, and threatens to make some of us drag our anchors, and drift, and strike and go to pieces on the sands. For one man who is led by the sheer force of reason to yield to the intellectual grounds on which modern unbelief reposes, there are twenty who simply catch the infection in the atmosphere. They ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... trunk into your hall with the air of convicts doing forced labor for a tyrannical jailer. If the spirit in which they discharge their duties—and they are specimens of a large class—were to make its way into our kitchens, society would go to pieces. ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... third of the tonal relations, melodies would lack unity and system and go to pieces under the stress of rival forces. This third relation may be call finality; [Footnote: The explanation of this is obscure; there is no unanimity among the specialists in musical theory.] it belongs among relations we have called evolutionary. By it is meant the fact that ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... all gone, and she fell off, and refused to obey her helm. The lashings had given way, and the larboard, waist, and quarter boats were all swept from the davits, the frames sprung, and every timber in the good ship's hull worked, and strained, and complained, like a frail thing that must soon go to pieces. Every order, however, was obeyed promptly and cheerfully, for both officers and crew felt that their lives, as well as the saving of the ship, depended on the way in which ...
— The Von Toodleburgs - Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family • F. Colburn Adams

... the enemy just in advance of the centre, and take care that the attack on the rear was not interfered with. Collingwood was given a free hand as to how he did his work. Nelson reminded the captains that in the smoke and confusion of battle set plans were likely to go to pieces, and signals to be unseen, and he left a wide discretion to every one, noting that no captain could do wrong if he laid his ship alongside of the nearest of the enemy. The actual battle was very unlike the diagram in the memorandum, which showed ...
— Famous Sea Fights - From Salamis to Tsu-Shima • John Richard Hale

... Samson's words the Rajput team seemed rather to go to pieces in the third chukker. There was the same brilliant individual hitting, and as much speed as ever, but the genius was not there. In vain Utirupa took the ball out of a scrimmage twice and rode away with it. He was not backed up in the nick of time, ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... few weeks of worry and night work have helped to wreck his nerves. Well, as I see it, there's only one thing to do. If she leaves him he'll go to pieces again, so she mustn't leave. And she can't stay without an explanation. I say let's give the explanation; let's come right out with the announcement ...
— Keziah Coffin • Joseph C. Lincoln

... is on shore and will go to pieces before daylight, but I will not desert you, my boy," he said. "As I came aft I made out a rock close aboard of us, and as the masts are sure to go over we may manage to gain it if we take the proper time. I wish I could help Mynheer and ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... it," she said. "I know that Cal Warren would rather see the Three Bar go to pieces from its own pressure, fighting from the inside to grow, than to see it whittled down from the ...
— The Settling of the Sage • Hal G. Evarts

... over the telephone left her little doubt of the truth. She had the self-control to answer quietly; then, when she had hung up the receiver, she let herself go to pieces. She raged up and down the room, swearing in Spanish, tears tracing red stains on her magnolia complexion. She dashed a vase full of flowers on the floor, and felt a fierce thrill as it crashed ...
— The Second Latchkey • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... the star near it?—by its sinking, at times, in the ocean. Now observe the hummock, a little north of it, looking like a shadow in the horizon—'tis a hill far inland. If we keep that light open from the hill, we shall do well—but if not, we surely go to pieces." ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... rapturously, "how good that sounds. I—I want to be bossed. I'm so tired of telling other people what to do—that last day at school I thought I should go to pieces." ...
— Glory of Youth • Temple Bailey

... passed between us, but Clara left me with the old Dissatisfaction beginning to turn itself, as if about to awake once more. For the present I hung the half-naked blade upon the wall, for I dared not force it lest the scabbard should go to pieces. ...
— Wilfrid Cumbermede • George MacDonald

... deposits, the next thing will be, No funds,—and then where will you be, my boy? These little bits of paper mean your gold and your silver and your copper, Professor; and you will certainly break up and go to pieces, if you don't hold on ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... I love you," she said impatiently, making out a quick case for herself. "It's just because I do that I hate to see you go to pieces by just lying around and saying you ought to work. Perhaps if I did go into this for a while it'd stir you up so you'd ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... sea will come, do what you will, and the best boat ever built would go to pieces on those Akimiski rocks," Katherine said, trying to cheer him because he seemed ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... not," she replied, a little catch in her voice. "But it is too bad to have the work go to pieces like it is just because they are both ...
— Captain Pott's Minister • Francis L. Cooper

... which in reality is full of blemishes and weaknesses, covered up with paint and varnish. Glue starts at joints, chairs and bedsteads break down at the slightest provocation, castors come off, handles pull out, many things "go to pieces" altogether, even ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... the boat was lifted high in air by a wave, to be cast back into the dark depths; the shallop quivered like a fragile leaf, the plaything of the north wind in the autumn; the hull creaked, it seemed ready to go to pieces. Fearful shrieks went up, ...
— Christ in Flanders • Honore de Balzac

... all round the ship; but even at a boat's length from her no bottom was found to which a cable could reach. She appeared fixed hard and fast, and should any sea get up she must inevitably quickly go to pieces. ...
— Notable Voyagers - From Columbus to Nordenskiold • W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

... been dreaming of," he rudely interrogated her, "to let the place go to pieces like this? Drifting behind year after year, and doing nothing to stop it—not cutting down one of the living expenses—not giving us the least hint ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... much less as was consistent with buying the best quality—for she had learned by bitter experience the ravages poor quality food makes in health and looks, had learned why girls of the working class go to pieces swiftly after eighteen. She must fight to keep health—sick she did not dare be. She must fight to keep ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... very active condition: the Hands could hardly move, and the Mouth was all parched and dry, while the Legs were unable to support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the Body, and that all must work together or the Body will go to pieces. ...
— Aesop's Fables • Aesop

... religion, we could expect to find them, and that we on the other hand fall far below the excellence to which our religion summons us. If Hinduism was allowed full sway over its adherents society would go to pieces, while we should rise to the excellence of angels if we were to come under the ...
— Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877 • James Kennedy

... means, if those means should prove more advantageous: thus the gentry were not a reliable asset, but were always ready to break faith. Among other things, Fu Chien's southern campaign was wrecked by that faithlessness. When an essentially military state suffers military defeat, it can only go to pieces. This explains the disintegration of that great empire within a single year into so many diminutive states, as ...
— A history of China., [3d ed. rev. and enl.] • Wolfram Eberhard

... wanting, of the sum required, 34,000 marks of silver. Then those who had kept back their possessions and not brought them into the common stock, were right glad, for they thought now surely the host must fail and go to pieces. But God, who advises those who have been ill-advised, would not ...
— Memoirs or Chronicle of The Fourth Crusade and The Conquest of Constantinople • Geoffrey de Villehardouin

... nonchalance and ease, and with precisely the same design, to make a rose no rose. Leaf after leaf fell under Mr. Stackpole's touch, as if it had been a black frost. The American government was a rickety experiment; go to pieces presently,—American institutions an alternative between fallacy and absurdity, the fruit of raw minds and precocious theories;—American liberty a contradiction;— American character a compound of quackery and pretension;—American ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... and the perspiration that the excitement and exertion had brought out upon their faces was freezing. Snow squalls were already beginning and before nightfall a blizzard was raging in all its awful fury and at any moment the ice pack was liable to go to pieces. ...
— Ungava Bob - A Winter's Tale • Dillon Wallace

... entirely to his own satisfaction; he had felicitated himself so often on the sagacity and foresight displayed in that arrangement, and had found it so complete and perfect in all its parts; that to suffer it to go to pieces all at once, and even to assist in breaking it up, required a great effort of his resolution. The Captain, too, found it difficult to unload his old ideas upon the subject, and to take a perfectly new cargo on board, with that rapidity which the circumstances required, or without jumbling and confounding ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... hollow inside are spongy; and the spaces in the bone-sponge are filled with a soft tissue called the red marrow in which new red and white corpuscles for the blood are born, to take the place of those which die and go to pieces. ...
— A Handbook of Health • Woods Hutchinson

... round us. The men declared that they could hear the shrieks and cries of our shipmates. The captain swore at them as fools for saying so, declaring that their voices must long since have been silenced by the breakers. Every instant it seemed that the brig must go to pieces, and that we should be carried away to share their fate. Suddenly, however, I felt the brig move. The topsails were let fall and sheeted home, and we once more glided forward. In another hour we were safely at anchor in a sheltered bay within the ...
— Tales of the Sea - And of our Jack Tars • W.H.G. Kingston

... managed to get the vessel round, but scarcely were the braces belayed and the ship on the starboard tack, when she struck the ground broadside on. She was a soft-wood built ship, and she trembled, sir, as though she would go to pieces at once like a pack of cards. Sheets and halliards were let go, but no man durst venture aloft. Every moment threatened to bring the spars crushing about us, and the thundering and beating of the canvas made the masts buckle and jump like fishing-rods. We then kindled ...
— Heroes of the Goodwin Sands • Thomas Stanley Treanor

... canoe is so frail a structure, that, were it brought rudely in contact either with the bottom or the bank, it would be very much damaged, or might go to pieces altogether. Hence the care with which it is handled. It is dangerous, also, to stand upright in it, as it is so "crank" that it would easily turn over, and spill both canoe-men and cargo into the water. The voyageurs, therefore, when once they have got in, ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... Dutch round Capetown (I don't know anything of 'up country') are sulky and dispirited; they regret the slave days, and can't bear to pay wages; they have sold all their fine houses in town to merchants, &c., and let their handsome country places go to pieces, and their land lie fallow, rather than hire the men they used to own. They hate the Malays, who were their slaves, and whose 'insolent prosperity' annoys them, and they don't like the vulgar, bustling English. The English complain that the Dutch won't die, and that they ...
— Letters from the Cape • Lady Duff Gordon

... no mind to see the stern go to pieces and take this with it," he said, setting the load at his feet. "The tide has not reached its height yet, and she will be roughly handled. We had best get ashore while we can. We may ...
— A Sea Queen's Sailing • Charles Whistler

... grave. It was so that our country's greatest infidel historian met death. He quitted the world without parade and without display. If we want a specimen of victory apart from Christ, we have it on his death-bed. He left all this strange world of restlessness, calmly, like an unreal show that must go to pieces, and he himself an unreality departing from it. A sceptic can ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... will, and on a lee shore too; so that the ship shall go to pieces on the rocks, and the Admiral and every soul on board her ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... Kitten," he answered, pulling her ear. "Seaton is too good a man to see go to pieces when it can be prevented. That is why I signalled you to keep the talk off the company and his work. One of the best lawyers I ever knew, a real genius, went to pieces that same way. He was on a big, almost an impossible, case. He couldn't ...
— The Skylark of Space • Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

... shore. There are scarce three feet of water here, and except where one or two deeps pass across it there is no more anywhere between this and the land. It will not be rough very far. Now, be off at once; the boat will go to pieces before many minutes. I and the two men will take to the mainmast, but I want to see you ...
— By England's Aid or The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604) • G.A. Henty

... "I think I shall have to give that up, on my honour," he said. "We just seem to have started on West, and to have kept going until we got here. It seemed to be the fashion—especially if you'd lost about everything in the world and seen everything go to pieces all about you." He added this with a slow and deliberate bitterness which removed the light trace of humour for ...
— The Girl at the Halfway House • Emerson Hough

... ravage, razzia^; inactivation; incendiarism; revolution &c 146; extirpation &c (extraction) 301; beginning of the end, commencement de la fin [Fr.], road to ruin; dilapidation &c (deterioration) 659; sabotage. V. be destroyed &c; perish; fall to the ground; tumble, topple; go to pieces, fall to pieces; break up; crumble to dust; go to the dogs, go to the wall, go to smash, go to shivers, go to wreck, go to pot, go to wrack and ruin; go by the board, go all to smash; be all over, be ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... see," said Maxime to himself, "if they could only see!... their whole society would go to pieces,... but they will always be blind, they do not want to ...
— Clerambault - The Story Of An Independent Spirit During The War • Rolland, Romain

... She'll go to pieces if she tries it," answered Lloyd, taking off his cap and putting it on again, emphatically. "Yes, sir; she'll ...
— Tom, The Bootblack - or, The Road to Success • Horatio Alger

... thought I heard you mutter something about Sanger. That fellow has developed, hasn't he? But we'll get onto him yet. When these strike-out twirlers go to pieces, they're liable to blow up completely. The boys will pound him before the game ...
— Rival Pitchers of Oakdale • Morgan Scott

... at her. The bright face was high and resolute. She was not aware of the danger, but from that look on her face he did not think she would go to pieces when he ...
— Pearl of Pearl Island • John Oxenham

... By gad! it has unstrung the whole garrison, I believe. You never saw our people fall off so in their shooting. Of course we expected Jerrold to go to pieces, ...
— From the Ranks • Charles King

... Agrippina to Baiae, and then, in the course of the ceremonies and manoeuvers connected with the naval spectacle, to take her out upon the bay in a barge or galley. He would have the barge so constructed, he said, that it should go to pieces at sea, making arrangements beforehand for saving the lives of the others, but leaving Agrippina ...
— Nero - Makers of History Series • Jacob Abbott

... is very distasteful to many officers of the army; and the croakers and politicians would almost be willing to see the government go to pieces, to get rid of the President and his cabinet. Some of the members of Congress are anxious to get away, and the Examiner twits them for their cowardice. They will ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... Portugal, laden with fruit and wine. Make haste, sir, if you want to see her! It's thought, down on the beach, she'll go to pieces ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... it suits me and makes me happier. There is only one logic in the world,—the logic of passions. Reason holds the reins for a time, but when the horses tear along in mad career, she sits on the box and merely watches lest the vehicle should go to pieces. The human heart cannot be rendered love-proof, and love is an element strong as tidal waves. The very gates of hell cannot overcome a woman who loves her husband, for the marriage vows are only the sealing of love's compact; but if it be mere duty, the first tide ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... of England really recognizes the fact. Meantime its idea of God is such as will not at all fit the God of the whole earth. And that is why she is in bondage. Except she burst the bonds of her own selfishness, she will burst her heart and go to pieces, as her enemies would have her. Every piece will be alive, though, I ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... probably necessary that they be kept dry during the winter, and reach the ground after the season of warmth and moisture is fully established. In May, just as the leaves and the new balls are emerging, at the touch of a warm, moist south wind, these spherical packages suddenly go to pieces—explode, in fact, like tiny bombshells that were fused to carry to this point—and scatter their seeds to the four winds. They yield at the same time a fine pollen-like dust that one would suspect played some part in fertilizing the new balls, did not botany teach him otherwise. At any ...
— A Year in the Fields • John Burroughs

... such an engagement as this has no sort of future. It is a mere motionless present, without the inspiration of a common life, and with no hope of release from durance except through a chance that it will be sorrow instead of joy. I should think they would go to pieces under the strain." ...
— A Pair of Patient Lovers • William Dean Howells

... would be good if the young man could be got to break his neck out hunting;—or good if the yacht could be made to founder, or go to pieces on a rock, or come to any other fatal maritime misfortune. But these were accidents which he personally could have no power to produce. Such wishing was infantine, and fit only for a weak woman, such as the Marchioness. ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... completely his mental and physical habits and his surroundings. Occupation, changed habits, taking in of confidence, faith and courage thoughts—these changes are necessary to the victim of melancholia, or he will shatter on the danger rocks and go to pieces. ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... of some one weakness, the eddies of a suspicious temper depositing their one impalpable layer after another, may build up a shoal on which an heroic life and an otherwise magnanimous nature may bilge and go to pieces. All this we may learn, and much more, and Shakespeare was no doubt well aware of all this and more; but I do not believe that he wrote his plays with any such didactic purpose. He knew human nature too well not to know that one thorn of experience is worth a whole ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... half dozen best-known bankers in Berlin has lamented to me that he must change his people in South America every few years, as they soon go to pieces there. Army officers came home from China indignant to find their compatriots there speaking English and unwilling even to speak German. Even as long ago as the time of the Thirty Years' War a forgotten chronicler, Adam Junghaus von der Ohritz, writes: "Further, it is a misfortune to the Germans ...
— Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View (1913) • Price Collier

... the rattle far away Of the cavalry at gallop and artillery in play; 'Tis the great gun's fierce concussion, and the smell of seven hells When the long ranks go to pieces in ...
— 'Hello, Soldier!' - Khaki Verse • Edward Dyson

... exclaimed the alarmed waterman. "A Holland galliot would go to pieces, if you should run her in among those stepping-stones, with this breeze! No honest boatman loves to see a man stowed in a cruiser's hold, like a thief caged in his prison; but when it comes to breaking the nose of the Milk-Maid, it ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper



Words linked to "Go to pieces" :   lose it, snap, break down



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