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90s Slang You Should Know

nervous breakdown

(not in technical use) any disabling mental disorder requiring treatment.
Origin of nervous breakdown
An Americanism dating back to 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nervous breakdown
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he realised that she was on the point of a nervous breakdown, and in no condition for interrogations.

    The Black Box E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Let them call it a nervous breakdown, his lips were forever sealed.

  • I have been suffering from a nervous breakdown and am going to try day labor for awhile.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
  • They said I should certainly have a nervous breakdown if I stayed on much longer.

    Lost Diaries Maurice Baring
  • His friends said that he had a nervous breakdown; they sent him to a rest-cure.

    Fortitude Hugh Walpole
British Dictionary definitions for nervous breakdown

nervous breakdown

any mental illness not primarily of organic origin in which the patient ceases to function properly, often accompanied by severely impaired concentration, anxiety, insomnia, and lack of self-esteem; used esp of episodes of depression
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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nervous breakdown in Medicine

nervous breakdown n.
A severe or incapacitating emotional disorder, especially when occurring suddenly and marked by depression.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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