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breakdown

[ breyk-doun ]
/ ˈbreɪkˌdaʊn /
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noun
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.
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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. 2021

How to use breakdown in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for breakdown

break down

verb (adverb)
noun breakdown
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

Medical definitions for breakdown

breakdown
[ brākdoun′ ]

n.
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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with breakdown

break down

1

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]

2

Separate into constituent parts, analyze. For example, I insisted that they break down the bill into the separate charges for parts and labor, or The chemist was trying to break down the compound's molecules. [Mid-1800s]

3

Stop functioning, cease to be effective or operable, as in The old dishwasher finally broke down. [Mid-1800s]

4

Become distressed or upset; also, have a physical or mental collapse, as in The funeral was too much for her and she broke down in tears, or After seeing all his work come to nothing, he broke down and had to be treated by a psychiatrist. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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