Thesaurus

break down

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of break down

  1. 1 to arrange or assign according to type 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 Synonyms assort, classify, categorize, class, codify, compartment, compartmentalize, digest, distinguish, distribute, grade, group, peg, place, range, rank, relegate, separate, sort, typeRelated Words array, dispose, draw up, marshal (also marshall), order, organize, systematize; alphabetize, catalog (or catalogue), file, index, list, refer; pigeonhole, shelve; identify, recognize; cull, screen, set, sieve, sift, winnow; clump, cluster, colligate; recategorize, reclassify, regroup; subcategorizeNear Antonyms confuse, disarrange, jumble, lump, mix (up), scramble; misclassify, missort, mistype

  2. 2 to go through decomposition the enamel of a human tooth will begin to break down when exposed to sugar for too long Synonyms decay, corrupt, decompose, disintegrate, fester, foul, mold, molder, perish [chiefly British], putrefy, rot, spoilRelated Words sour, turn, turn off [British]; contaminate, defile, pollute, taint; addle, curdle, ferment; mortify; rust; crumble, decline, degenerate, descend, deteriorate, dilapidate, sink, witherNear Antonyms age, develop, grow, mature, ripen; refresh, renew, restore; cleanse, purify; assemble, compose, integrate; ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate

  3. 3 to identify and examine the basic elements or parts of (something) especially for discovering interrelationships if we break the problem down into what appear to be three aspects of it, we'll have a better chance of solving it Synonyms anatomize, assay, analyze, cut, deconstruct, dissectRelated Words assess, diagnose, evaluate, examine, inspect, investigate, scrutinize; arrange, assort, catalog (or catalogue), categorize, classify, codify, diagram, enumerate, index, order, schematize, sort, tabulate; divide, reduce, segment, separate, subdivideNear Antonyms agglomerate, aggregate, amalgamate, assimilate, coalesce, conglomerate, consolidate, integrate, synthesize, unify

  4. 4 to stop functioning the computer finally broke down and had to be replaced Synonyms break, fail, conk (out), crash, cut out, die, give out, stallRelated Words fizzle, sputter, wheeze; act up, malfunction; jamAntonyms start (up)

  5. 5 to yield to mental or emotional stress began to break down when he realized that he was on the verge of bankruptcy Synonyms crack, break up, flip (out) [slang], freak (out), melt down, wig (out) [slang]Related Words choke

  6. 6 to take apart the crew was breaking down the party tent when we arrived Synonyms disassemble, demount, dismantle, dismember, dismount, knock down, strike, take downRelated Words detach, disengage; break up, disaggregate, disarticulate, disconnect, disjoin, disjoint, dissever, disunite, divide, separateNear Antonyms build, erect, pitch; combine, uniteAntonyms assemble, construct

  7. 7 to cause to break with violence and much noise firefighters had to break down the wall to rescue the kitten Synonyms smash, crash, shatterRelated Words bust, fracture, fragment; annihilate, bash, decimate, demolish, desolate, destroy, devastate, nuke, pulverize, ruin, tear down, total, vaporize, waste, wrack, wreck; shiver, splinter, split; crack, crunch, crush, snap



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up break down? 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

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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