General Writing and Grammar Help/Come undone


Dear Ted:

What does "to come undone" mean?

Would you please give me some examples of how to use this phrase correctly?

Thank you.


Dear Paolo:

What does "to come undone" mean?

***  It has two meanings:

1.  Something comes untied or unfastened.

Johnny's shoe laces came undone, and he tripped over them.

Janet Jackson's dress came undone during her performance, and she exposed her left

2.  It is also a common expression related to psychology.  If a person comes undone,
he "goes to pieces," being unable to handle his feelings.

When John's wife died, his entire life came undone; he was unable to face the reality
that she was no longer with him.

The man had a psychotic break and completely came undone.  He then killed two of his


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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