Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “break down”

See all translations

break down

verb uk phrasal verb with break   /breɪk/ (broke, broken) us  

(MACHINE)

B2 If a machine or vehicle breaks down, it stops working: Our car broke down and we had to push it off the road.
More examples

(COMMUNICATION)

If a system, relationship, or discussion breaks down, it fails because there is a problem or disagreement.

(CRY)

to be unable to control your feelings and to start to cry: When we gave her the bad news, she broke down and cried.
(Definition of break down from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of break down?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “break down” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More