meltdown

play
noun melt·down \ˈmelt-ˌdau̇n\

Definition of meltdown

  1. 1 :  the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor

  2. 2 :  a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse

  3. 3 :  a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation)

Examples of meltdown in a Sentence

  1. fears that an accident could cause meltdown

  2. a company experiencing financial meltdown

  3. After a long day at the beach, our toddler had a major meltdown in the car on the way home.

Recent Examples of meltdown from the Web

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

First Known Use of meltdown

1956


MELTDOWN Defined for English Language Learners

meltdown

play
noun

Definition of meltdown for English Language Learners

  • : an accident in which the core of a nuclear reactor melts and releases radiation

  • : a very fast collapse or failure

  • : a very fast loss of emotional self-control



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to counsel, recommend, or inform

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!