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Difference between Burst at the seams and Come apart at the seams

burst at the seams

1. be full to overflowing; be crammed with people or things:

  • The little hall was practically bursting at the seams.

2. be unable to contain one’s pride, uncontrolled laughter, etc.:

  • We laughed so hard we just about burst at the seams.

come apart at the seams —(also: fall apart at the seams)

1. fall into pieces; disintegrate:

  • The old car is about ready to come apart at the seams; its muffler is dragging and the windows don’t close.

2. be in a very bad state; be about to fail:

  • Oliver and Jane began showing serious signs of stress; their relationship was coming apart at the seams.

3. lose one’s composure because of a severe mental strain; collapse emotionally:

  • Poor old Smith isn’t the man he used to be; he’s coming apart at the seams.