I have checked the meaning of "feature" in dictionary, and I could not decide which one fits the context. And what bothers me most is the verb used in the sentence, as in "tearing the security features apart", which makes "features" represent something solid, concrete and tangible. I guessed it should be a security equipment which could be torn apart, but no such definition in the dictionary.

Could someone help me to understand it?

Here is the sentence in the context:

Downstairs, Coulson heard the alarm. Perimeter breach. Attackers are wearing S.H.I.E.L.D. gear. He got to a secret locker and pressed his thumb against the security pad. Before it could open, the Hulk and Thor exploded up through the floor, tearing the security features apart.

So much for containment, Coulson thought.

“We have the Hulk and Thor on Level Four,” he said. “Levels Two and Three are dark.”

Maria Hill knew that if something didn’t distract the Hulk, he would tear the Helicarrier apart . . . which was, of course, exactly what Loki wanted. “Escort six-o,” she said. “Engage the big man. Get his attention. Don’t get too close.”

“Copy that,” came the pilot’s voice.

The Avengers I

  • 1
    I agree that this is an odd usage. It clearly refers to the equipment, as you thought. At least some of these might be described in a catalogue or advertisement as "security features", i.e. things that the security system contains.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 18:21
  • Could it be ironic? In a previous scene, did someone show off the base and point out its security features? Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 0:47
  • Not mentioned at all, nor did the film specify it. but I could sense a little irony, just as you said, in the book, as anything being ridiculously insecure in front of Hulk:)
    – user86301
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


There's nothing weird about "security features" as a security system can be made up of many things, a camera, sound systems, all sorts of things.

  • Right. Nothing weird at all.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 20:27
  • thanks. I understand it's maybe natural for a native speaker , but to understand it in my own language: it's ok to tear apart a paper, for example, but to "tear apart characteristics-- something abstract, a district part of sth, something intangible" is really difficult. I need a word to substitute it.
    – user86301
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 6:56
  • Security "features" includes not only equipment, but also all other aspects of the procedures, checks, and other safeguards that are implemented to enhance security. "Security features" is not an attribute. It is a collection on things.
    – cmm
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 22:21

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