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Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
break down (verb)
transitive verb
1.
a) to cause to fall or collapse by breaking or shattering
b) to make ineffective - break down legal barriers
2.
a) to divide into parts or categories
b) to separate (as a chemical compound) into simpler substances - decompose
intransitive verb
c) to take apart especially for storage or shipment and for later reassembling
1.
a) to stop functioning because of breakage or wear
b) to become inoperative or ineffective - fail negotiations broke down
c) to fail in strength or vitality - her health broke down
d) to succumb to mental or emotional stress - broke down and cried
e) to lose one's resolve - give in finally broke down and bought a computer
2.
of horses to severely injure the supporting ligament or bones of the fetlock joint
3.
a) to be susceptible to or undergo analysis or subdivision - the statistics break down like this
b) to undergo decomposition analyze
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
break down (verb)
1.
to arrange or assign according to type
SYNONIMS:
assort, break down, categorize, class, codify, compartment, compartmentalize, digest, distinguish, distribute, grade, group, peg, place, range, rank, relegate, separate, sort, type
RELATED WORDS:
array, dispose, draw up, marshal ( marshall), order, organize, systematize; alphabetize, catalog ( catalogue), file, index, list, refer; pigeonhole, shelve; identify, recognize; cull, screen, set, sieve, sift, winnow; clump, cluster, colligate; recategorize, reclassify, regroup; subcategorize
NEAR ANTONYMS:
confuse, disarrange, jumble, lump, mix (up), scramble; misclassify, missort, mistype
break down (verb)
2.
to go through decomposition
SYNONIMS:
break down, corrupt, decompose, disintegrate, fester, foul, mold, molder, perish, putrefy, rot, spoil
RELATED WORDS:
sour, turn, turn off []; contaminate, defile, pollute, taint; addle, curdle, ferment; mortify; rust; crumble, decline, degenerate, descend, deteriorate, dilapidate, sink, wither
NEAR ANTONYMS:
age, develop, grow, mature, ripen; refresh, renew, restore; cleanse, purify; assemble, compose, integrate; ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate
break down (verb)
3.
to identify and examine the basic elements or parts of (something) especially for discovering interrelationships
SYNONIMS:
anatomize, assay, break down, cut, deconstruct, dissect
RELATED WORDS:
assess, diagnose, evaluate, examine, inspect, investigate, scrutinize; arrange, assort, catalog ( catalogue), categorize, classify, codify, diagram, enumerate, index, order, schematize, sort, tabulate; divide, reduce, segment, separate, subdivide
NEAR ANTONYMS:
agglomerate, aggregate, amalgamate, assimilate, coalesce, conglomerate, consolidate, integrate, synthesize, unify
break down (verb)
4.
to stop functioning
SYNONIMS:
break, break down, conk (out), crash, cut out, die, give out, stall
RELATED WORDS:
fizzle, sputter, wheeze; act up, malfunction; jam
start (up)
break down (verb)
5.
to yield to mental or emotional stress
SYNONIMS:
break down, break up, flip (out), freak (out), melt down, wig (out)
RELATED WORDS:
choke
break down (verb)
6.
to take apart
SYNONIMS:
break down, demount, dismantle, dismember, dismount, knock down, strike, take down
RELATED WORDS:
detach, disengage; break up, disaggregate, disarticulate, disconnect, disjoin, disjoint, dissever, disunite, divide, separate
NEAR ANTONYMS:
build, erect, pitch; combine, unite
assemble, construct
break down (verb)
7.
to cause to break with violence and much noise
SYNONIMS:
break down, crash, shatter
RELATED WORDS:
bust, fracture, fragment; annihilate, bash, decimate, demolish, desolate, destroy, devastate, nuke, pulverize, ruin, tear down, total, vaporize, waste, wrack, wreck; shiver, splinter, split; crack, crunch, crush, snap
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