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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The breakdown in negotiations Tuesday came as the two sides failed to broker the divide over the scope of the president's sweeping infrastructure investment and how to pay for it. Editors, USA TODAY, 9 June 2021 The breakdown comes as the two sides failed to broker the divide over the scope of the president’s sweeping infrastructure investment and how to pay for it. The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 June 2021 The race breakdown is stark: more than 70 percent of inmates placed in long term solitary are Black. Tana Ganeva, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2021 The breakdown comes as the two sides failed to broker the divide over the scope of the president’s sweeping infrastructure investment and how to pay for it. BostonGlobe.com, 8 June 2021 Council members Jennifer Campbell, Stephen Whitburn, Chris Cate, Raul Campillo, Marni von Wilpert and Sean Elo-Rivera voted in favor while Joe LaCava, Vivian Moreno and Monica Montgomery Steppe voted no — the same breakdown as the May 25 vote. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 June 2021 The breakdown did not close off the possibility of a bipartisan compromise entirely, and the White House signaled that the president would continue seeking one. New York Times, 8 June 2021 At its core, Thermage FLX tackles the inevitable breakdown of collagen in skin. Lela London, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Contributing to the breakdown in risk controls was a key personnel change in the bank’s prime brokerage unit, which handled the Archegos account, after the death of an experienced manager in a ski-lift accident, people familiar with the matter said. Margot Patrick, WSJ, 7 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Each week, The Baltimore Sun will break down five of the top performers in the Orioles’ prospect ranks and hand out some superlatives for those who didn’t make that cut. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 8 June 2021 This will break down and remove lime scale and grease that builds up in your dishwasher. Chris Hachey, BGR, 7 June 2021 Women assigned to Navy SEAL units, for example, fear they can be identified since the surveys break down demographics by gender, rank and race and not many women are assigned to special operation units. Detroit Free Press, 28 May 2021 Through its programs, the Jack & Jill Center works to break down the barriers of social and educational inequality by providing quality education to all children, regardless of income. Brett Shweky, sun-sentinel.com, 27 May 2021 Women assigned to Navy SEAL units, for example, fear they can be identified since the surveys break down demographics by gender, rank and race and not many women are assigned to special operation units. Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2021 Personalized learning paths help identify these biases and break down barriers for individuals by developing understanding about how other groups of people may feel, act and believe. Frank Orozco, Forbes, 27 May 2021 And Andersen, of Scripps Research Institute, would like to know the frequency at which long Covid occurs and how cases break down by age and severity of symptoms during the initial infection. STAT, 20 Apr. 2021 Most areas should have a clear day thanks to a weak ridge of high pressure that will begin to break down by the evening. oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for breakdown

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breakdown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breakdown. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for breakdown

breakdown

noun

English Language Learners Definition of breakdown

: a failure of a machine to function : an occurrence in which a machine (such as a car) stops working
: the failure of a relationship or of an effort to discuss something
: a failure that prevents a system from working properly

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

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