Skip to definition.
Get the FREE one-click dictionary software for Windows or the iPhone/iPad and Android apps


Noun: breakdown  'breyk,dawn
  1. The act of disrupting an established order so it fails to continue
    "his warning came after the breakdown of talks in London";
    - dislocation
     
  2. A mental or physical breakdown
    - crack-up
     
  3. (biology) the process of decay caused by bacterial or fungal action
    - decomposition, rot, rotting, putrefaction, biodegradation
     
  4. A cessation of normal operation
    "there was a power breakdown";
    - equipment failure
     
  5. An analysis into mutually exclusive categories
    - partitioning
Verb: break down  breyk dawn
  1. Make ineffective
    "Martin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination";
    - crush
     
  2. Make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features
    "break down today's financial market";
    - analyze [N. Amer], analyse [Brit, Cdn], dissect, take apart
     
  3. Lose control of one's emotions
    "When she heard that she had not passed the exam, she broke down completely";
    - lose it, snap
     
  4. Stop operating or functioning
    "The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town";
    - fail, go bad, give way, die, give out, conk out [informal], go, break, pack up [Brit, informal]
     
  5. Fall apart
    "Negotiations broke down";
    - crumble, crumple, tumble, collapse
     
  6. Cause to fall or collapse
     
  7. (chemistry) separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts
    - decompose, break up
     
  8. Fall or become unconscious due to fatigue, illness, or a sudden attack
    - collapse

Derived forms: broke down, breaking down, broken down, breakdowns, breaks down

See also: break

Type of: act, alter, analysis, analytic thinking, behave, break, bust [informal], change, change integrity, collapse, decay, disruption, do, failure, get, have, modify, perturbation, prostration, separate, suffer, sustain

Encyclopedia: Breakdown

Break down