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

phrasal verb with break
 
 
/breɪk/ verb ( past tense broke, past participle broken)
MACHINE B1 If a machine or vehicle breaks down, it stops working: My car broke down on the way to work.Not functioning
COMMUNICATION If a system, relationship, or discussion breaks down, it fails because there is a problem or disagreement: Their marriage broke down after only two years.Causing something to endComing to an endFailing and doing badlyEnding relationships and divorce
CRY to become very upset and start cryingWeeping and cryingFeeling sad and unhappy
(Definition of break down from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “break down” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More