[ broh-kuhn-doun ]
See synonyms for broken-down on
  1. shattered or collapsed, as with age; infirm.

  2. having given way with use or age; out of working order: a broken-down chair.

Origin of broken-down

First recorded in 1810–20

Words Nearby broken-down Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use broken-down in a sentence

  • True, in such a case as this, "economic strength" would probably be broken down by the intrusion of physical violence.

  • Chyloid exudates are milky chiefly from proteids in suspension, or fine dbris from broken-down cells.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Bridges had been broken down, and the guns had to be hauled through jungle and woods under a scorching sun.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • In despair, broken down in health, he applied to be relieved of his duties, and returned home to private life.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • The beasts have rotted in their dung, the barns are destroyed, the storehouses are broken down: because the corn is confounded.

British Dictionary definitions for broken-down


  1. worn out, as by age or long use; dilapidated: a broken-down fence

  2. not in working order: a broken-down tractor

  1. physically or mentally ill

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