English dictionary

Info: This web site is based on WordNet 3.0 from Princeton University.

English verb: break down

1. break down (competition) make ineffective

SamplesMartin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)alter, change, modify

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

SamplesAnalyze a specimen.
Analyze a sentence.
Analyze a chemical compound.

Synonymsanalyse, analyze, dissect, take apart

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Narrower (hyponym)botanise, botanize, parse

Antonymssynthesise, synthesize

3. break down (emotion) lose control of one's emotions

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

ExamplesSam and Sue break down

Synonymslose it, snap

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)act, behave, do

Narrower (hyponym)die, dissolve, fall apart, go to pieces

4. break down (change) stop operating or functioning

SamplesThe 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.

ExamplesThese cars won't break down

Synonymsbreak, conk out, die, fail, give out, give way, go, go bad

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change

Narrower (hyponym)blow, blow out, burn out, crash, go down, malfunction, misfire, misfunction

Verb groupbreak, buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, perish, pop off, snuff it

5. break down (motion) fall apart

SamplesThe building crumbled after the explosion.
Negotiations broke down.

Synonymscollapse, crumble, crumple, tumble

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change integrity

6. break down (contact) cause to fall or collapse

ExamplesThey want to break down the doors

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)break, bust

Causebreak down, collapse, crumble, crumple, tumble

7. break down (change) separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts

Synonymsbreak up, decompose

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)separate

Narrower (hyponym)crack, digest, dissociate

Domain categorychemical science, chemistry

8. break down (body) collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack

ExamplesSam and Sue break down


Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)get, have, suffer, sustain

Narrower (hyponym)drop like flies, fall over, go over

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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