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

derivative

If something is derivative, it is not the result of new ideas, but has been developed from or copies something else.

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

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