Definition of broken-down in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌbrōkənˈdoun/


1Worn out and dilapidated by age, use, or ill-treatment: a broken-down car
More example sentences
  • He told his driver to stop outside a broken-down shack, where an emaciated woman and two young men sat on a porch surrounded by household debris.
  • The gamin creates their ideal in spirit when she takes the most broken-down shack and tries to make it ‘home.’
  • He said the side of the stadium which had a broken-down security boundary wall had been replaced and that other areas needing attention would also be sorted out.
dilapidated, run-down, ramshackle, tumbledown, in disrepair, beat-up, battered, crumbling, deteriorated, gone to rack and ruin
informal fleabag
1.1(Of a machine or vehicle) not functioning due to a mechanical failure.
Example sentences
  • Lucy Renwick, from Crisicard, said: ‘A crisis means different things to different people from finding a wasps nest in the attic to getting locked out of the house or being miles away from home in a broken-down vehicle.’
  • A Stanway traffic police spokesman said: ‘The traffic congestion had been due to broken-down vehicles.’
  • But road safety campaigners and motoring groups expressed concern about the impact on safety, including whether it could become harder to remove broken-down vehicles from lanes.
1.2(Of a horse) with serious damage to the legs, in particular the tendons, caused by excessive strain.
Example sentences
  • We witness the love of a trainer for his boss's wife, of a billionaire for the tantrically adept psychic, of a trainer for a broken-down stallion, of a corrupt owner for money, fame and Jesus.
  • It had a peculiar gait, being likened by a nineteenth-century naturalist to ‘a broken-down hack in a canter, apparently dragging the hindquarters after it.’
  • During the 1930s three broken down men come together with a broken down horse and inspire a nation that things might look bad but the future can be bright.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bro·ken-down

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