breakdown

noun
break·​down | \ ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce breakdown (audio) \

Definition of breakdown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action or result of breaking down: such as
a : a failure to function preventing a breakdown of the health-care system
b : failure to progress or have effect : disintegration a breakdown of negotiations
c medicine : a complete loss of physical, mental, or emotional vitality : a physical, mental, or nervous collapse
d : the process of decomposing the breakdown of water into hydrogen and oxygen cellular breakdown
e : division into categories a statistical breakdown of data : classification also : an account analyzed into categories a budget breakdown
2 : a fast shuffling dance also : music for such a dance

break down

verb
broke down; broken down; breaking down; breaks down

Definition of break down (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to fall or collapse by breaking or shattering
b : to make ineffective break down legal barriers
2a : to divide into parts or categories
b : to separate (something, such as a chemical compound) into simpler substances : decompose
c : to take apart especially for storage or shipment and for later reassembling

intransitive verb

1a : 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
3a : to be susceptible to or undergo analysis or subdivision the statistics break down like this
b : to undergo decomposition

Choose the Right Synonym for breakdown

Verb

analyze, dissect, break down mean to divide a complex whole into its parts or elements. analyze suggests separating or distinguishing the component parts of something (such as a substance, a process, a situation) so as to discover its true nature or inner relationships. analyzed the collected data dissect suggests a searching analysis by laying bare parts or pieces for individual scrutiny. commentators dissected every word of the speech break down implies a reducing to simpler parts or divisions. break down the budget

Examples of breakdown in a Sentence

Noun The factory has had frequent equipment breakdowns. Both sides are to blame for the breakdown in communication. The irretrievable breakdown of a marriage can be grounds for divorce. trying to prevent a breakdown of the health-care system trying to prevent breakdown of the health-care system He suffered a breakdown after his wife died. Verb when presented with the pile of files, the first thing he did was to break them down by month, order within the month, and region the enamel of a human tooth will begin to break down when exposed to sugar for too long See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For the first time, the monthly data did not include a breakdown of cases by vaccination status, just hospitalizations and deaths. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, 5 Aug. 2022 Not all of the event details have yet been announced, but a breakdown of the workouts so far, and the times for upcoming events can be found here, at the official website of the CrossFit games. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2022 San Diego County provided its first demographic breakdown Tuesday of local residents who have contracted monkeypox. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Aug. 2022 That audit, published in November of last year, did not include a simultaneous breakdown by gender and race. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 28 July 2022 From the arrival of their first child to the internet-breaking announcement of the twins, keep scrolling for a breakdown of Beyoncé and JAY-Z's three children. Jacqueline Weiss, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2022 In a further breakdown of the ratings, NBC Sports says the coverage that aired on NBC, which included four primetime programs, averaged nearly 2 million TV-only viewers. oregonlive, 27 July 2022 Senior executives often get to see that breakdown of expenses, but don’t have to share it with investors. Mark Maurer, WSJ, 27 July 2022 Here's a breakdown with their 247Sports composite ratings. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Researchers and public health advocates are increasingly concerned because some PFAS build up in human blood, take years to leave the body and don’t break down in the environment. Michael Hawthorne, Chicago Tribune, 31 July 2022 Boston issued roughly 12,000 licenses to carry between 2016 and 2021, according to state data, though the data do not break down how many were issued with restrictions. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2022 PFAs are manmade chemicals that don't break down in the environment. Li Cohen, CBS News, 8 July 2022 Popov says such samplers would work best for tests to detect drugs and hormones that do not break down quickly. Maddie Bender, Scientific American, 21 June 2022 Oftentimes business owners and teams don’t break down the tasks and steps needed to execute on time. Expert Panel, Forbes, 21 June 2022 The differences among gender-affirming providers over assessments and medical intervention don’t break down along cisgender-transgender lines. New York Times, 15 June 2022 LendingTree used data from the 2020 U.S. Census, which doesn’t break down by country of origin. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 June 2022 SpaceX didn't break down the 400,000 subscriber count number. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 24 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breakdown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of breakdown

Noun

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for breakdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of breakdown was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near breakdown

break dancing

breakdown

break down

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Statistics for breakdown

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breakdown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breakdown. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for breakdown

breakdown

noun
break·​down | \ ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce breakdown (audio) \

Kids Definition of breakdown

1 : a failure to function properly
2 : a sudden failure of mental or physical health

breakdown

noun
break·​down | \ ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce breakdown (audio) \

Medical Definition of breakdown

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the action or result of breaking down: as
a : a failure to function
b : a physical, mental, or nervous collapse
c : the process of decomposing breakdown of food during digestion

breakdown

adjective

Medical Definition of breakdown (Entry 2 of 3)

: obtained or resulting from disintegration or decomposition of a substance a breakdown product of purine

break down

transitive verb
\ (ˈ)brāk-ˈdau̇n How to pronounce break down (audio) \

Medical Definition of break down (Entry 3 of 3)

: to separate (as a chemical compound) into simpler substances : decompose

intransitive verb

1a : to stop functioning because of breakage or wear
b : to fail in strength or vitality
c : to succumb to mental or emotional stress
2 of horses : to severely injure the supporting ligament or bones of the fetlock joint
3 : to undergo decomposition

More from Merriam-Webster on breakdown

Nglish: Translation of breakdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakdown for Arabic Speakers

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