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Physical BreakdownPlay
Used when something solid breaks into smaller pieces, often unpredictably or without much force. SlideWith a gentle touch, the brittle leaf crumbled.
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Metaphorical UsePlay
Metaphorically applies to situations or things falling apart, not just physical objects. SlideTheir plans crumbled after the funding was cut.
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Negative ConnotationPlay
Often implies a gradual or unexpected failure, highlighting a sense of disappointment. SlideThe ancient ruins had crumbled over centuries.