breakdown

play
noun break·down \ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n\

Definition of breakdown

  1. 1 :  the action or result of breaking down : such asa :  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 collapsed :  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. 2 :  a fast shuffling dance; also :  music for such a dance

Examples of breakdown in a sentence

  1. The factory has had frequent equipment breakdowns.

  2. Both sides are to blame for the breakdown in communication.

  3. The irretrievable breakdown of a marriage can be grounds for divorce.

  4. trying to prevent a breakdown of the health-care system

  5. trying to prevent breakdown of the health-care system

  6. He suffered a breakdown after his wife died.

1827

First Known Use of breakdown

1827



BREAKDOWN Defined for English Language Learners

breakdown

play
noun break·down \ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n\

Definition of breakdown for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

breakdown

play
noun break·down \ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n\

Definition of breakdown for Students

  1. 1 :  a failure to function properly

  2. 2 :  a sudden failure of mental or physical health


Medical Dictionary

1

breakdown

play
noun break·down \ˈbrāk-ˌdau̇n\

Medical Definition of breakdown

  1. :  the action or result of breaking down: asa:  a failure to functionb:  a physical, mental, or nervous collapsec:  the process of decomposing <breakdown of food during digestion>


2

breakdown

adjective break·down

Medical Definition of breakdown

  1. :  obtained or resulting from disintegration or decomposition of a substance <a breakdown product of purine>



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up breakdown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a principle or belief held by a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ