melt·​down | \ ˈmelt-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce meltdown (audio) \

Definition of meltdown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor
2 : a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse
3 : a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation)

melt down

melted down; melting down; melts down

Definition of melt down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to suffer a meltdown : collapse

Synonyms for meltdown

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of meltdown in a Sentence

Noun fears that an accident could cause meltdown a company experiencing financial meltdown After a long day at the beach, our toddler had a major meltdown in the car on the way home. Verb apparently beset by personal problems, the actor proceeded to melt down before startled theatergoers
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The concert’s meltdown went viral on social media, as festival attendees documented the makeshift tents, and meager food offerings. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Warren said this week’s meltdown in crypto prices underlines the danger for retirees. Tory Newmyer, Steven Zeitchik, Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2022 Warren said this week’s meltdown in crypto prices underlines the danger for retirees. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 The Longhorns lost six games in a row in the middle of the season, including an epic meltdown against Oklahoma and missed out on a bowl game for the third time in seven seasons. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2022 Means Death for season 2, and if it is cancelled, expect an internet meltdown, and for good reason. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Sure, one incredible 50% meltdown followed in late January before those Super Bowl ads hit. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 25 Mar. 2022 If the Athens experience is any indicator, the Russians, faced with an even bigger stocks- and currency-meltdown, could be in for one rocky ride once things reopen. Stelios Bouras, Fortune, 23 Mar. 2022 And Libby got all these boy things and had this massive meltdown. Good Housekeeping, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1956, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of meltdown was in 1956

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Statistics for meltdown

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Meltdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on meltdown

Nglish: Translation of meltdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meltdown for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about meltdown


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