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BREAK DOWN

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does break down mean? 

BREAK DOWN (verb)
  The verb BREAK DOWN has 8 senses:

1. make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features
2. make ineffective
3. lose control of one's emotions
4. stop operating or functioning
5. separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts
6. fall apart
7. cause to fall or collapse
8. collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack

  Familiarity information: BREAK DOWN used as a verb is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


BREAK DOWN (verb)


Sense 1break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features

Classified under:

Verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting

Synonyms:

break down; dissect; analyze; analyse; take apart

Context examples:

analyze a specimen / analyze a sentence / analyze a chemical compound

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "break down"):

parse (analyze syntactically by assigning a constituent structure to (a sentence))

botanise; botanize (collect and study plants)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 2break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make ineffective

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Synonyms:

break down; crush

Context example:

Martin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

alter; change; modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 3break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Lose control of one's emotions

Classified under:

Verbs of feeling

Synonyms:

lose it; break down; snap

Context examples:

When she heard that she had not passed the exam, she lost it completely / When her baby died, she snapped

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

act; behave; do (behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "break down"):

dissolve (lose control emotionally)

die (be brought to or as if to the point of death by an intense emotion such as embarrassment, amusement, or shame)

fall apart; go to pieces (lose one's emotional or mental composure)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s

Sentence example:

Sam and Sue break down


Sense 4break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Stop operating or functioning

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Synonyms:

go bad; conk out; give way; give out; fail; die; break down; break; go

Context examples:

The engine finally went / The car died on the road / The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town / The coffee maker broke / The engine failed on the way to town / her eyesight went after the accident

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

change (undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "break down"):

malfunction; misfunction (fail to function or function improperly)

misfire (fail to fire or detonate)

blow; blow out; burn out (melt, break, or become otherwise unusable)

crash; go down (stop operating)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s

Sentence example:

These cars won't break down


Sense 5break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Synonyms:

decompose; break down; break up

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

separate (divide into components or constituents)

Domain category:

chemical science; chemistry (the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "break down"):

digest (soften or disintegrate by means of chemical action, heat, or moisture)

dissociate (to undergo a reversible or temporary breakdown of a molecule into simpler molecules or atoms)

crack (reduce (petroleum) to a simpler compound by cracking)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s somebody
Something ----s something


Sense 6break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Fall apart

Classified under:

Verbs of walking, flying, swimming

Synonyms:

crumble; crumple; collapse; tumble; break down

Context examples:

the building crumbled after the explosion / Negotiations broke down

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

change integrity (change in physical make-up)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s


Sense 7break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Cause to fall or collapse

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

break; bust (ruin completely)

Cause:

break down; collapse; crumble; crumple; tumble (fall apart)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something

Sentence example:

They want to break down the doors


Sense 8break down [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack

Classified under:

Verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care

Synonyms:

collapse; break down

Hypernyms (to "break down" is one way to...):

get; have; suffer; sustain (undergo (as of injuries and illnesses))

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "break down"):

fall over; go over (fall forward and down)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s

Sentence example:

Sam and Sue break down


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"If you're in a hole, stop digging." (English proverb)

"Unearned riches have no goods" (Azerbaijani proverb)

"If you're a liar, then have a good memory." (Arabic proverb)

"Well started is half won." (Dutch proverb)

 BREAK DOWN: related words searches 

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