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Wordswarms From Years Past

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Adjacent Words

break a leg
break apart
break away
break beat
break bread
break bulk
break camp
break cover
break covert
break dance
break dancing
break even
break faith
break forth
break free
break ground
break heart
break in
break into
break jail
break loose
break new ground
break of day
break of serve
break of the day
break off

break down definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: make ineffective; "Martin Luther King tried to break down racial discrimination" [syn: break down, crush]
2: make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features; "analyze a specimen"; "analyze a sentence"; "analyze a chemical compound" [syn: analyze, analyse, break down, dissect, take apart] [ant: synthesise, synthesize]
3: lose control of one's emotions; "When she heard that she had not passed the exam, she lost it completely"; "When her baby died, she snapped" [syn: break down, lose it, snap]
4: stop operating or functioning; "The engine finally went"; "The car died on the road"; "The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town"; "The coffee maker broke"; "The engine failed on the way to town"; "her eyesight went after the accident" [syn: fail, go bad, give way, die, give out, conk out, go, break, break down]
5: fall apart; "the building crumbled after the explosion"; "Negotiations broke down" [syn: crumble, crumple, tumble, break down, collapse]
6: cause to fall or collapse
7: separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts [syn: decompose, break up, break down]
8: collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack [syn: break down, collapse]

Merriam Webster's

verb Date: 14th century 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 c. to take apart especially for storage or shipment and for later reassembling intransitive verb 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 Synonyms: see analyze

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

1. If a machine or a vehicle breaks down, it stops working. Their car broke down. PHRASAL VERB: V P 2. If a discussion, relationship, or system breaks down, it fails because of a problem or disagreement. Talks with business leaders broke down last night... Paola's marriage broke down. PHRASAL VERB: V P, V P 3. To break down something such as an idea or statement means to separate it into smaller parts in order to make it easier to understand or deal with. The report breaks down the results region by region... These rules tell us how a sentence is broken down into phrases. PHRASAL VERB: V P n (not pron), be V-ed P into n, also V n P into n 4. When a substance breaks down or when something breaks it down, a biological or chemical process causes it to separate into the substances which make it up. Over time, the protein in the eggshell breaks down into its constituent amino acids... The oil is attacked by naturally occurring microbes which break it down. PHRASAL VERB: V P, V n P, also V P n (not pron) 5. If someone breaks down, they lose control of themselves and start crying. Because he was being so kind and concerned, I broke down and cried... PHRASAL VERB: V P 6. If you break down a door or barrier, you hit it so hard that it falls to the ground. An unruly mob broke down police barricades and stormed the courtroom... Firemen were called after his father failed to break the door down. PHRASAL VERB: V P n (not pron), V n P 7. To break down barriers or prejudices that separate people or restrict their freedom means to change people's attitudes so that the barriers or prejudices no longer exist. His early experience enabled him to break down barriers between Scottish Catholics and Protestants. PHRASAL VERB: V P n (not pron), also V n P [approval] 8. see also breakdown, broken-down

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. (Active.) Crush, overwhelm, overcome. II. (Neuter.) Fail, give out.

Moby Thesaurus

afflict, aggrieve, alphabetize, analyze, anatomize, anguish, arrange, assay, assort, bawl, beat down, bend, blow, blow down, blubber, boohoo, break, break up, bring down, bring low, bring to tears, bring to terms, bulldoze, burn down, burn out, burst into tears, cast down, catalog, categorize, cave in, chop down, class, classify, codify, collapse, come to naught, come to nothing, conk out, conquer, crack up, crumble, crush, cry, cut down, cut up, decompose, desolate, digest, disintegrate, dissect, dissolve in tears, divide, draw tears, droop, drop, drop a tear, embitter, faint, fall down, fall flat, fall in, fall through, fatigue, fell, file, fizzle out, flag, flatten, founder, gasp, get bogged down, get hung up, get mired, get tired, give out, go haywire, go kaput, go wrong, grade, greet, grieve, group, grow weary, humble, humiliate, index, inundate, jade, knock down, knock over, level, list, master, molder, mow down, oppress, order, overmaster, overwhelm, pack up, pant, peg out, peter out, pigeonhole, place, play out, poop out, prostrate, puff, puff and blow, pull down, putrefy, quell, range, rank, rase, rate, raze, reduce, reduce to elements, resolve, rot, run down, run out, segment, separate, shed tears, sink, smash, snivel, sob, sorrow, sort, spoil, steamroller, subdivide, subdue, succumb, suppress, sway, tabulate, taint, take down, tear down, throw down, tire, topple, topple down, topple over, torment, totter, trample underfoot, tread underfoot, turn, type, tyrannize, unman, weary, weep, wheeze, whimper, wilt


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