AskDefine | Define breakdown

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of disrupting an established order so it fails to continue; "the social dislocations resulting from government policies"; "his warning came after the breakdown of talks in London" [syn: dislocation]
2 a mental or physical breakdown [syn: crack-up]
3 a cessation of normal operation; "there was a power breakdown" [syn: equipment failure]
4 an analysis into mutually exclusive categories [syn: partitioning]

User Contributed Dictionary



break + down


  1. a failure, particularly mechanical; something that has failed
    We saw a breakdown by the side of the road.
  2. a lapse of mental stability
    After so much stress, he simply suffered a breakdown and gave up.
  3. further detail or categorization
    ''Looking at the breakdown of the budget, I see a few items we could cut.
  4. Breaking of chemical bonds within a compound to produce simpler compounds or elements.
  5. a musical technique, by where the music is stripped down, becoming simpler, and can vary in heaviness depending on the genre


Derived terms


a failure, particularly mechanical
a lapse of mental stability
further detail or categorization
breaking of chemical bonds within a compound
a musical technique

Extensive Definition

Breakdown may refer to:

In music

breakdown in German: Breakdown
breakdown in French: Breakdown
breakdown in Italian: Breakdown

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

analysis, analyzation, anatomizing, anatomy, assay, assaying, bankruptcy, bloodless revolution, bouleversement, breakage, breaking down, breaking up, breakup, cataclysm, catastrophe, cave, cave-in, circulatory collapse, classification, clean slate, clean sweep, collapse, comedown, computer revolution, convulsion, counterrevolution, crack-up, crackup, crash, crippling, cropper, damage, debacle, decomposition, deflation, destruction, detailing, detriment, diaeresis, dilapidation, disablement, disaster, disrepair, dissection, distillation, division, docimasy, downfall, draining, encroachment, exhaustedness, exhaustion, failure, fall, foundering, fractionation, gravimetric analysis, harm, hobbling, hurt, hurting, impairment, incapacitation, infringement, injury, inroad, itemization, loss, maiming, mayhem, mischief, mutilation, nervous breakdown, nervous exhaustion, nervous prostration, neurasthenia, nose dive, overthrow, overturn, palace revolution, pratfall, prostration, proximate analysis, quantitative analysis, radical change, reduction to elements, resolution, review, revolt, revolution, revolutionary war, revulsion, ruin, ruination, ruinousness, run-down, sabotage, scathe, segmentation, semimicroanalysis, separation, shipwreck, sickening, smash, smashup, spasm, spoiling, striking alteration, stumble, subdivision, subversion, sweeping change, tabula rasa, tailspin, technological revolution, total change, total loss, transilience, tumble, upset, violent change, washout, weakening, wrack, wreck
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