break down
verb Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to cause to fall or collapse by breaking or shattering b. to make ineffective <
break down legal barriers
>
2. a. to divide into parts or categories b. to separate (as a chemical compound) into simpler substances ; decompose c. to take apart especially for storage or shipment and for later reassembling intransitive verb 1. a. to stop functioning because of breakage or wear b. to become inoperative or ineffective ; fail <
negotiations broke down
>
c. to fail in strength or vitality <
her health broke down
>
d. to succumb to mental or emotional stress <
broke down and cried
>
e. to lose one's resolve ; give in <
finally broke down and bought a computer
>
2. of horses to severely injure the supporting ligament or bones of the fetlock joint 3. a. to be susceptible to or undergo analysis or subdivision <
the statistics break down like this
>
b. to undergo decomposition Synonyms: see analyze

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • break down — {v.} (stress on down ) 1. To smash or hit (something) so that it falls; cause to fall by force. * /The firemen broke down the door./ 2. To reduce or destroy the strength or effect of; weaken; win over. * /By helpful kindness the teacher broke… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break down — {v.} (stress on down ) 1. To smash or hit (something) so that it falls; cause to fall by force. * /The firemen broke down the door./ 2. To reduce or destroy the strength or effect of; weaken; win over. * /By helpful kindness the teacher broke… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break down — (something) 1. to divide something into smaller parts. The quickest way to get this job done is to break it down into a number of specific steps. 2. to cause something to weaken or decay. Temperatures were high enough to break down the chemicals …   New idioms dictionary

  • break down — (someone) 1. to cause someone to become emotional. Andy broke down and cried several times during his retirement speech. 2. to weaken someone. I felt so good, I felt like nothing could break me down or make me sick …   New idioms dictionary

  • break-down — ● break down nom masculin invariable (anglais breakdown, effondrement) Synonyme de dépression nerveuse. ● break down (synonymes) nom masculin invariable (anglais breakdown, effondrement) Synonymes : dépression nerveuse …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • break down — ► break down 1) suddenly cease to function or continue. 2) lose control of one s emotions when in distress. Main Entry: ↑break …   English terms dictionary

  • break|down — «BRAYK DOWN», noun, adjective. –n. 1. a) failure to work: »Lack of oil caused a breakdown in the motor. b) failure; collapse: »... the breakdown of the old regime (Edmund Wilson). 2. loss of health; w …   Useful english dictionary

  • break down — index classify, codify, damage, decay, erode, overcome (overwhelm), pigeonhole, stall …   Law dictionary

  • break down — ( )brāk dau̇n vt to separate (as a chemical compound) into simpler substances: DECOMPOSE vi 1) to stop functioning because of breakage or wear 2) to undergo decomposition …   Medical dictionary

  • break down — *analyze, resolve, dissect Contrasted words: concatenate, articulate, *integrate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break down — verb 1. make ineffective (Freq. 3) Martin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination • Syn: ↑crush • Derivationally related forms: ↑breakdown • Hypernyms: ↑change, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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