meltdown

1 of 2

noun

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

2 of 2

verb

melted down; melting down; melts down

intransitive verb

: to suffer a meltdown : collapse

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 rather than melt down, the team strengthened their resolve and ended up winning the game
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The media meltdown continues, with BuzzFeed being the latest company to slash its workforce. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 The perfume peddlers, the Black power guys with their mics, the drunken hockey fans, the scalpers, the Asian grandmothers with the giant wheelie shopping bags, the toddler meltdowns because Mommy wouldn’t buy the $20 spinning-light thing at the arena’s ice skating show have all been there. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Now, however, the meltdown is threatening to overtake the letdown in harming Hong Kong’s appeal to international stars. Koh Ewe, TIME, 9 Feb. 2024 In their 2008 white paper, released in the shadow of a global financial meltdown, Nakamoto sketched a vision for a new electronic money and peer-to-peer payment system that would obviate the need for troublesome intermediaries like banks. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 2 Feb. 2024 In the first official photo from the film (below), Lohan has collapsed to the ground amid a hectic wedding ceremony — all while guests seemingly have a meltdown around her. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 1 Feb. 2024 Their children’s meltdowns, tantrums times three, come unannounced and garner stares. Linda Friedel, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 But the country is also celebrating the holiday amid growing uncertainty about the future of the economy, which has been rattled by a property market crisis, stock market meltdown, weaker exports and high youth unemployment over the past year. Simone McCarthy, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024 The meltdown of the office sector in the Bay Area has been compounded by wobbly capital markets for the construction and financing of commercial properties. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024
Verb
The waste management company sorts, cleans, shreds, crushes and melts down the toys into materials that are later used to make goods like lunchboxes and flower pots. Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News, 4 Jan. 2024 During the Grover Cleveland administration in the mid 1890s, assorted White House silver was melted down by the Treasury; the metal was used to make new flatware for the president’s house. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 That coinage would be melted down into ingots, then crafted into wearable art including cuffs, bracelets and necklaces. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 30 Jan. 2024 Other companies are exploring radically new reactor designs that, in theory, can’t melt down and don’t require big containment domes or other expensive equipment. Brad Plumer, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 But Nippon Steel’s acquisition of U.S. Steel has a bipartisan group of senators melting down. Nr Editors, National Review, 22 Dec. 2023 In October, foundry workers melted down the controversial bronze statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that stood for nearly a century in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Dec. 2023 The bracteates were probably made by talented goldsmiths in the region, using gold melted down from coins paid to Scandinavians who fought for the Roman Empire, Oehrl said. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2023 The statue, which once stood in Charlottesville, Va., and became the center of protests over Confederate monuments, was melted down at an undisclosed location, to be turned into public art. Marc Lacey, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'meltdown.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1956, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1956, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of meltdown was in 1956

Dictionary Entries Near meltdown

meltage

meltdown

melt down

Cite this Entry

“Meltdown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meltdown. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

meltdown

noun
melt·​down ˈmelt-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce meltdown (audio)
1
: the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor
2
: a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse
a financial meltdown
3
: a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation)

More from Merriam-Webster on meltdown

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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