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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use breakdown in a sentence
That will get you more granular information about your fitness data—including more detailed breakdowns of how it arrived at your stress score.The new Fitbit knows when you’re stressed—and how to help you chill | Stan Horaczek | August 26, 2020 | Popular-Science
Healthcare systems could get overloaded, tooOn top of a breakdown of the testing systems, there’s a serious concern that an influx of people with severe influenza could push healthcare systems over the edge too.The COVID-19 pandemic is about to collide with flu season. Here’s what to expect. | Sara Chodosh | August 26, 2020 | Popular-Science
The randomness of such a process would be able to account for the breakdown of homogeneity and isotropy in the early universe, without having to invoke any observer or measuring device.Schrödinger’s Cat When Nobody Is Looking - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Daniel Sudarsky | August 26, 2020 | Nautilus
In our conversation, Topol explained what we can and can’t expect from vaccines, what the communication breakdown over the pandemic has meant, and, surprisingly, why we can look on the bright side.
Smaller DNA segments are assumed to represent older instances of mating across populations than longer segments due to the breakdown of shared segments in later generations.South Americans may have traveled to Polynesia 800 years ago | Bruce Bower | July 8, 2020 | Science News
The breakdown of the 114th Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male, and 92 percent Christian.
Truth be told, there is no one better at capturing the agony and alarm of a woman in the throes of a nervous breakdown than Moore.
No other neighborhood in Rome has the same demographic breakdown.In Rome’s Riots, Cries for Mussolini and Attacks on Refugees | Barbie Latza Nadeau | November 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
She remembers, of course, being tantalized by the tantalizing opening breakdown scene.Eliza Coupe Finds Her ‘Happy Ending’ With ‘Benched’ | Kevin Fallon | October 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
So definitely in that breakdown I used every bit of my personal life.Eliza Coupe Finds Her ‘Happy Ending’ With ‘Benched’ | Kevin Fallon | October 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Assuredly, this was an occasion when the sacrifice of a few minutes might avoid the grave risk of a breakdown after daybreak.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
A coward by nature, he had been on the verge of a nervous breakdown before the trial, thinking of what might happen.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
He had been ailing for several weeks; as his son had remarked, his handwriting had been the first symptom of the breakdown.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume II (of 3) | Charles James Wills
It was a complete breakdown, pitiful from its contrast with the man's herculean physique and fine, if contracted, features.The Circular Study | Anna Katharine Green
This alternative arrangement was a stand-by in case of breakdown of the steam pipes to these engines.Loss of the Steamship 'Titanic' | British Government
British Dictionary definitions for break down
(intr) to cease to function; become ineffective: communications had broken down
to yield or cause to yield, esp to strong emotion or tears: she broke down in anguish
(tr) to crush or destroy
(intr) to have a nervous breakdown
to analyse or be subjected to analysis
to separate or cause to separate into simpler chemical elements; decompose
(tr) NZ to saw (a large log) into planks
break it down Australian and NZ informal
don't expect me to believe that; come off it
an act or instance of breaking down; collapse
short for nervous breakdown
an analysis or classification of something into its component parts: he prepared a breakdown of the report
the sudden electrical discharge through an insulator or between two electrodes in a vacuum or gas discharge tube
electrical engineering the sudden transition, dependent on the bias magnitude, from a high to a low dynamic resistance in a semiconductor device
a lively American country dance
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with breakdown
Demolish, destroy, either physically or figuratively, as in The carpenters broke down the partition between the bedrooms, or The governor's speeches broke down the teachers' opposition to school reform. [Late 1300s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.