To dismantle a box?


What would be the most appropriate word to describe the process of flattening boxes?

Can I say:

I’ve always known this word to be used with furniture or machine only.


Hi Cantik

“Dismantle” doesn’t work well. The verb “flatten” seems as good a choice as any to me.

[size=92](Of course, I suppose it might depend on how violently you flattened them.)[/size] :wink:

Yes, but is dismantle wrong?

I don’t know that it’s wrong, per se, but it just doesn’t seem quite right.

I agree with Yankee, ‘dismantle’ seems a bit too involved, or technical. To me, ‘dismantle’ has the sense of removing multiple parts or components, while a box more or less is just one piece folded up.

I think ‘flatten’ is much better. Perhaps ‘crush’ if there’s enough energy/violence behind the process. Some of those thick cardboard boxes do take a flying leg drop to get broken down. :smiley:

I think you can use ‘dismantle’ in connection with bombs.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening discussions: What upsets the young man’s mother?[YSaerTTEW443543]


What’s “a flying leg drop”? You mean the act of stomping?

I didn’t quite get the violent part at first, because I usually use my legs to step on them to use less energy; but now I think about tearing them apart, I suppose we can use “dismantle” then?

I agree with you and Amy that “dismantle” is a bit too involved, or technical.



Hi Cantik

Google Images has some results for “leg drop”. :lol:

In addition to “flatten”, people might also say that they “break boxes down”.

Oh, thanks Amy. That IS violent. :shock:

I imagined something like having legs dis-attached from the upper torso.

So, I assume dismantle is not wrong but not quite right.

Hi Cantik

I’d recommend calling it “wrong” – unless the box is an unusual sort of box consisting of various individual pieces (which must be screwed together, for example). However, “dismantling” that sort of theoretical box really would not be the same thing as “flattening” a box.

“Dismantle” is used when you take things apart, when you undo something that consists of numerous separate (and often intricate) parts, for example. You can also dismantle a whole system.
Look at the AHD definition here:

Wow, somehow that phrase completely slipped my mind. ‘Breaking them down’ is probably as common, if not more common then ‘flattening them’.

Yet, as common as it is, it somehow never even crossed my mind, and I even use that phase probably as much as I say ‘flatten’.

CRS syndrome, I tell ya…:frowning:

Okay, thanks everybody. From now on I’ll stick to “flattening” and “breaking down” for boxes.