break down

1) PHRASAL VERB If a machine or a vehicle breaks down, it stops working.

[V P] Their car broke down.

2) PHRASAL VERB If a discussion, relationship, or system breaks down, it fails because of a problem or disagreement.

[V P] Talks with business leaders broke down last night...

[V P] Paola's marriage broke down.

3) PHRASAL VERB To break down something such as an idea or statement means to separate it into smaller parts in order to make it easier to understand or deal with.

[V P n (not pron)] The report breaks down the results region by region...

[be V-ed P into n] These rules tell us how a sentence is broken down into phrases. [Also V n P into n]

4) PHR-V-ERG When a substance breaks down or when something breaks it down, a biological or chemical process causes it to separate into the substances which make it up.

[V P] Over time, the protein in the eggshell breaks down into its constituent amino acids...

[V n P] The oil is attacked by naturally occurring microbes which break it down. [Also V P n (not pron)]

5) PHRASAL VERB If someone breaks down, they lose control of themselves and start crying.

[V P] Because he was being so kind and concerned, I broke down and cried...

[V P] The young woman broke down in tears.

6) PHRASAL VERB If you break down a door or barrier, you hit it so hard that it falls to the ground.

[V P n (not pron)] An unruly mob broke down police barricades and stormed the courtroom...

[V n P] Firemen were called after his father failed to break the door down.

7) PHRASAL VERB (approval) To break down barriers or prejudices that separate people or restrict their freedom means to change people's attitudes so that the barriers or prejudices no longer exist.

[V P n (not pron)] His early experience enabled him to break down barriers between Scottish Catholics and Protestants. [Also V n P]

8) See also , broken-down

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • break down — {v.} (stress on down ) 1. To smash or hit (something) so that it falls; cause to fall by force. * /The firemen broke down the door./ 2. To reduce or destroy the strength or effect of; weaken; win over. * /By helpful kindness the teacher broke… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break down — {v.} (stress on down ) 1. To smash or hit (something) so that it falls; cause to fall by force. * /The firemen broke down the door./ 2. To reduce or destroy the strength or effect of; weaken; win over. * /By helpful kindness the teacher broke… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break down — (something) 1. to divide something into smaller parts. The quickest way to get this job done is to break it down into a number of specific steps. 2. to cause something to weaken or decay. Temperatures were high enough to break down the chemicals …   New idioms dictionary

  • break down — (someone) 1. to cause someone to become emotional. Andy broke down and cried several times during his retirement speech. 2. to weaken someone. I felt so good, I felt like nothing could break me down or make me sick …   New idioms dictionary

  • break-down — ● break down nom masculin invariable (anglais breakdown, effondrement) Synonyme de dépression nerveuse. ● break down (synonymes) nom masculin invariable (anglais breakdown, effondrement) Synonymes : dépression nerveuse …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • break down — ► break down 1) suddenly cease to function or continue. 2) lose control of one s emotions when in distress. Main Entry: ↑break …   English terms dictionary

  • break|down — «BRAYK DOWN», noun, adjective. –n. 1. a) failure to work: »Lack of oil caused a breakdown in the motor. b) failure; collapse: »... the breakdown of the old regime (Edmund Wilson). 2. loss of health; w …   Useful english dictionary

  • break down — index classify, codify, damage, decay, erode, overcome (overwhelm), pigeonhole, stall …   Law dictionary

  • break down — ( )brāk dau̇n vt to separate (as a chemical compound) into simpler substances: DECOMPOSE vi 1) to stop functioning because of breakage or wear 2) to undergo decomposition …   Medical dictionary

  • break down — *analyze, resolve, dissect Contrasted words: concatenate, articulate, *integrate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break down — verb 1. make ineffective (Freq. 3) Martin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination • Syn: ↑crush • Derivationally related forms: ↑breakdown • Hypernyms: ↑change, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.