- a breaking down, wearing out, or sudden loss of ability to function efficiently, as of a machine.
- a loss of mental or physical health; collapse.Compare nervous breakdown.
- an analysis or classification of something; division into parts, categories, processes, etc.
- Electricity. an electric discharge passing through faulty insulation or other material used to separate circuits or passing between electrodes in a vacuum or gas-filled tube.
- a noisy, lively folk dance.
Origin of breakdown
First recorded in 1825–35; noun use of verb phrase break down
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for breakdown
The breakdown of the 114th Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male, and 92 percent Christian.The Unbearable Whiteness of Congress
January 8, 2015
So definitely in that breakdown I used every bit of my personal life.Eliza Coupe Finds Her ‘Happy Ending’ With ‘Benched’
October 28, 2014
Did giving her the attention in the first place contribute to the breakdown?Amanda Bynes Has a ‘Microchip’ in Her Brain. Why Are We Fascinated By This?
October 10, 2014
Republicans currently dominate the breakdown, with 27 GOP secretaries of state in the 47 states that have the position.The Democrats' Katherine Harris Strategy
September 6, 2014
In fact, research has shown that hitting the weights without fuel can lead to the breakdown of muscle.Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?
August 22, 2014
But the instant Arnold repairs the breakdown, your little experiment is over!We're Friends, Now
In this Cadell was excellent, and we rarely had a breakdown.The Doings of the Fifteenth Infantry Brigade
Edward Lord Gleichen
"We've had a breakdown," remarked Andy, and he seemed quite humiliated.Tom Swift and his Motor-boat
This breakdown of the individuality of the phantom voices is very characteristic.The Shadow World
"You'll have to have your breakdown rather closer to the house than we thought," he said.The Grell Mystery
Word Origin and History for breakdown
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The act or process of failing to function or continue.
- A typically sudden collapse in physical or mental health.
- Disintegration or decomposition into parts or elements.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.