View synonyms for break down

break down


  1. intr to cease to function; become ineffective

    communications had broken down

  2. to yield or cause to yield, esp to strong emotion or tears

    she broke down in anguish

  3. tr to crush or destroy
  4. intr to have a nervous breakdown
  5. to analyse or be subjected to analysis
  6. to separate or cause to separate into simpler chemical elements; decompose
  7. tr to saw (a large log) into planks
  8. break it down informal.
    1. stop it
    2. don't expect me to believe that; come off it


  1. an act or instance of breaking down; collapse
  2. an analysis or classification of something into its component parts

    he prepared a breakdown of the report

  3. the sudden electrical discharge through an insulator or between two electrodes in a vacuum or gas discharge tube
  4. electrical engineering the sudden transition, dependent on the bias magnitude, from a high to a low dynamic resistance in a semiconductor device
  5. a lively American country dance

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Example Sentences

Eggs, he says, are a good source of cysteine, an amino acid that helps the liver break down alcohol faster.

Given a choice, and not just a philosophical one, performers could break down modern day stigmas.

From the militia perspective, the Shia factions in Iraq break down as follows.

I hoped the U.S. government would break down every door in Baghdad to get me back.

It just was so much fun to break down the moments of that scene with her.

I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted: I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down.

All her scheming and fencing would have availed her nothing if she were to break down at the critical moment.

Their heart is divided: now they shall perish: he shall break down their idols, he shall destroy their altars.

With a great break-down of sobs, poor Chloe blubbered out, "S'pose I must."

I break down at every paragraph, I may observe; and lie here and sweat, till I can get one sentence wrung out after another.