Definition of breakdown in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrākˌdoun/


1A mechanical failure.
Example sentences
  • Most of the contenders in the JWRC suffered mechanical breakdowns, punctures or accidents.
  • But the diagram would also assume a lot: no stuck buttons or mechanical breakdowns, and no frustrated residents walking down the hall late at night and dumping all their waste without sorting it.
  • Some mechanical breakdowns could be avoided if drivers properly inspected the buses before they begin their routes, as required by federal law, Scanlon said.
malfunction, failure, crash
2A failure of a relationship or system: the breakdown of their marriage some of these women will have experienced marital breakdown a breakdown in military discipline
More example sentences
  • It's wrong to let them off the hook altogether and only blame the managers, the systems and a breakdown in communications.
  • The course is designed to assist people who are separated and help them meet other people who have experienced a breakdown in a relationship.
  • But even if the collection Scheme does become operational there is already a breakdown in the communication system that would have helped to make it more efficient.
failure, collapse, disintegration, foundering
2.1A sudden collapse in someone’s mental health.
Example sentences
  • Frontline troops are finding their tours of duty extended, causing huge morale problems and an epidemic of breakdowns and mental health problems.
  • He's gotten over all the deaths, mental breakdowns, and abandonment he used to obsess over, and now the angst in his lyrics seems to be more a matter of commercial necessity than deeply felt personal expression.
  • This is what eventually led to his mental breakdown and the deaths of many of the heads of Britain.
nervous breakdown, collapse
informal crack-up
3The chemical or physical decomposition of something: the breakdown of ammonia to nitrites
More example sentences
  • Over thousands to millions of years, the physical breakdown and chemical weathering of volcanic rocks have formed some of the most fertile soils on Earth.
  • Some water supplies (mostly ponds and streams) contain some natural organic chemicals from the breakdown of plants and leaves.
  • All of them block the breakdown of a brain chemical called acetylcholine that is important in memory and other intellectual functions.
3.1An explanatory analysis, especially of statistics: a detailed cost breakdown
More example sentences
  • It also gives a detailed breakdown of costs to distributors and compares this to the selling prices.
  • Ask for a detailed breakdown of programme costs.
  • We'll offer analysis and statistical breakdowns, more photos, more of everything.
analysis, classification, examination, investigation, dissection
4A lively, energetic American country dance.

Words that rhyme with breakdown

shakedown, takedown

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: break·down

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