break down

verb
1. make ineffective (Freq. 3)
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Martin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination

Syn: ↑crush
Derivationally related forms: ↑breakdown
Hypernyms: ↑change, ↑alter, ↑modify
Verb Frames:
-

Somebody ——s something

-

Something ——s something

2. make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features (Freq. 3)
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analyze a specimen

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analyze a sentence

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analyze a chemical compound

Syn: ↑analyze, ↑analyse, ↑dissect, ↑take apart
Ant: ↑synthesize (for: ↑analyze)
Derivationally related forms: ↑dissection (for: ↑dissect), ↑breakdown, ↑analyser (for: ↑analyse), ↑analyst (for: ↑analyze), ↑analyzer (for: ↑analyze)
Hyponyms: ↑parse, ↑botanize, ↑botanise
Verb Frames:
-

Somebody ——s something

3. lose control of one's emotions (Freq. 2)
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When she heard that she had not passed the exam, she lost it completely

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When her baby died, she snapped

Syn: ↑lose it, ↑snap
Derivationally related forms: ↑breakdown
Hypernyms: ↑act, ↑behave, ↑do
Hyponyms: ↑dissolve, ↑die, ↑fall apart, ↑go to pieces
Verb Frames:
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Somebody ——s

-

Sam and Sue break down

4. stop operating or functioning (Freq. 2)
-

The engine finally went

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The car died on the road

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The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town

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The coffee maker broke

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The engine failed on the way to town

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her eyesight went after the accident

Syn:
fail, ↑go bad, ↑give way, ↑die, ↑give out, ↑conk out, ↑go, ↑break
Derivationally related forms: ↑breakdown, ↑breakable (for: ↑break), ↑failure (for: ↑fail)
Hypernyms: ↑change
Hyponyms:
Verb Group:
Verb Frames:
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Something ——s

-

These cars won't break down

5. fall apart (Freq. 1)
-

the building crumbled after the explosion

-

Negotiations broke down

Syn: ↑crumble, ↑crumple, ↑tumble, ↑collapse
Hypernyms: ↑change integrity
Verb Frames:
-

Something ——s

6. cause to fall or collapse
Hypernyms: ↑break, ↑bust
Cause: ↑crumble, ↑crumple, ↑tumble, ↑collapse
Verb Frames:
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Somebody ——s something

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Something ——s something

-

They want to break down the doors

7. separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts
Syn: ↑decompose, ↑break up
Derivationally related forms: ↑decomposition (for: ↑decompose)
Topics: ↑chemistry, ↑chemical science
Hypernyms: ↑separate
Hyponyms: ↑digest, ↑dissociate, ↑crack
Verb Frames:
-

Somebody ——s somebody

-

Something ——s something

8. collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack
Syn: ↑collapse
Derivationally related forms: ↑collapse (for: ↑collapse), ↑breakdown
Hypernyms: ↑suffer, ↑sustain, ↑have, ↑get
Hyponyms: ↑drop like flies, ↑fall over, ↑go over
Verb Frames:
-

Somebody ——s

-

Sam and Sue break down


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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


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