break down phrasal

verb
1 MACHINE (I) if a large machine, especially a car, breaks down, it stops working: The elevators in this building are always breaking down.
2 FAIL (I) if a discussion, system etc breaks down, it fails because there are problems: Peace talks have broken down over the question of reparations.
3 DOOR (transitive break something down) if you break down a door, you hit it so hard that it breaks and falls to the ground
4 CHANGE FIXED IDEAS (transitive break something down) to change the fixed ideas or feelings that someone or a group of people have so that they agree with yours: It'll be difficult to break down their prejudices about lesbians.
5 CHANGE CHEMICALLY (I, T) if a substance breaks down or something breaks it down, it changes as a result of a chemical process
(break sth down): Bacteria break down the animal waste to form methane gas.
6 CRY (I) to be unable to stop yourself crying, especially in public: If I go to the funeral, I'll break down.
7 BECOME ILL (I) to become mentally or physically ill: If Tim carries on working like this, he'll break down sooner or later.
8 MAKE STH SIMPLE (transitive break something down) to separate something such as a job or report into parts, especially so that it is easier to do or understand: a recipe that breaks down the making of creme brulee into simple steps
-see also: breakdown

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • break down — UK US break down Phrasal Verb with break({{}}/breɪk/ verb [T] (broke, broken) ► [I or T] to separate, or to separate something, into smaller parts: »Can you break down our expenses by month and by region? »The data breaks down into three main… …   Financial and business terms

  • break down — phrasal verb Word forms break down : present tense I/you/we/they break down he/she/it breaks down present participle breaking down past tense broke down past participle broken down 1) [intransitive] if a machine or vehicle breaks down, it stops… …   English dictionary

  • break down — 1) PHRASAL VERB If a machine or a vehicle breaks down, it stops working. [V P] Their car broke down. 2) PHRASAL VERB If a discussion, relationship, or system breaks down, it fails because of a problem or disagreement. [V P] Talks with business… …   English dictionary

  • ˌbreak ˈdown — phrasal verb 1) if a machine or vehicle breaks down, it stops working 2) if a relationship or discussion breaks down, it stops being successful At one point, the talks broke down completely.[/ex] 3) to start crying, especially in public People… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • break — break1 [ breık ] (past tense broke [ brouk ] ; past participle broken [ broukən ] ) verb *** ▸ 1 separate into pieces ▸ 2 fail to obey rules ▸ 3 make a hole/cut ▸ 4 destroy someone s confidence ▸ 5 when people learn news ▸ 6 stop for a short time …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • break — A sudden price move; prices may break up or down. The CENTER ONLINE Futures Glossary A rapid and sharp price decline. Related: crash. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * ▪ I. break break 1 [breɪk] verb broke PASTTENSE [brəʊk ǁ broʊk] …   Financial and business terms

  • Break — A rapid and sharp price decline. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * ▪ I. break break 1 [breɪk] verb broke PASTTENSE [brəʊk ǁ broʊk] broken PASTPART [ˈbrəʊkən ǁ …   Financial and business terms

  • ˌbreak sth ˈdown — phrasal verb to hit something such as a door or wall very hard so that it falls down Firefighters had to break down the door.[/ex] …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • phrasal verb — ► NOUN Grammar ▪ an idiomatic phrase consisting of a verb and an adverb or preposition, as in break down or see to …   English terms dictionary

  • break — break1 W1S1 [breık] v past tense broke [brəuk US brouk] past participle broken [ˈbrəukən US ˈbrou ] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(separate into pieces)¦ 2¦(bones)¦ 3¦(machines)¦ 4¦(rules/laws)¦ 5¦(promise/agreement)¦ 6¦(stop/rest)¦ 7¦(end something)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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