Found 1 items, similar to To break down.
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Definition: To break down
(br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. broke
); p. p. Broken
(br[=o]"k'n), (Obs. Broke
); p. pr.
& vb. n. Breaking
.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS.
brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to
creak, Sw. braka, br["a]kka to crack, Dan. br[ae]kke to
break, Goth. brikan to break, L. frangere. Cf. Bray
1. To strain apart; to sever by fracture; to divide with
violence; as, to break a rope or chain; to break a seal;
to break an axle; to break rocks or coal; to break a lock.
2. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a
package of goods.
3. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or
Katharine, break thy mind to me. --Shak.
4. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.
Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . .
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
5. To interrupt; to destroy the continuity of; to dissolve or
terminate; as, to break silence; to break one's sleep; to
break one's journey.
Go, release them, Ariel;
My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore.
6. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as,
to break a set.
7. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to
pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British
8. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.
The victim broke in pieces the musical instruments
with which he had solaced the hours of captivity.
9. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller
denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
10. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as,
to break flax.
11. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.
An old man, broken with the storms of state.
12. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a
fall or blow.
I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.
13. To impart, as news or information; to broach; -- with to,
and often with a modified word implying some reserve; as,
to break the news gently to the widow; to break a purpose
cautiously to a friend.
14. To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to
discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or
saddle. “To break a colt.”
Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
15. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to
With arts like these rich Matho, when he speaks,
Attracts all fees, and little lawyers breaks.
16. To destroy the official character and standing of; to
cashier; to dismiss.
I see a great officer broken. --Swift.
Note: With prepositions or adverbs:
To break down
(a) To crush; to overwhelm; as, to break down one's
strength; to break down opposition.
(b) To remove, or open a way through, by breaking; as, to
break down a door or wall.
To break in
(a) To force in; as, to break in a door.
(b) To train; to discipline; as, a horse well broken in.
To break of
, to rid of; to cause to abandon; as, to break
one of a habit.
To break off
(a) To separate by breaking; as, to break off a twig.
(b) To stop suddenly; to abandon. “Break off thy sins by
--Dan. iv. 27.
To break open
, to open by breaking. “Open the door, or I
will break it open.”
To break out
, to take or force out by breaking; as, to
break out a pane of glass.
To break out a cargo
, to unstow a cargo, so as to unload it
To break through
(a) To make an opening through, as, as by violence or the
force of gravity; to pass violently through; as, to
break through the enemy's lines; to break through the
(b) To disregard; as, to break through the ceremony.
To break up
(a) To separate into parts; to plow (new or fallow
ground). “Break up this capon.”
--Shak. “Break up
your fallow ground.”
--Jer. iv. 3.
(b) To dissolve; to put an end to. “Break up the
(one) all up
, to unsettle or disconcert
completely; to upset. [Colloq.]
Note: With an immediate object:
To break the back
(a) To dislocate the backbone; hence, to disable totally.
(b) To get through the worst part of; as, to break the
back of a difficult undertaking.
To break bulk
, to destroy the entirety of a load by
removing a portion of it; to begin to unload; also, to
transfer in detail, as from boats to cars.
To break a code
to discover a method to convert coded
messages into the original understandable text.
To break cover
, to burst forth from a protecting
concealment, as game when hunted.
To break a deer
or To break a stag
, to cut it up and
apportion the parts among those entitled to a share.
To break fast
, to partake of food after abstinence. See
To break ground
(a) To open the earth as for planting; to commence
excavation, as for building, siege operations, and
the like; as, to break ground for a foundation, a
canal, or a railroad.
(b) Fig.: To begin to execute any plan.
(c) (Naut.) To release the anchor from the bottom.
To break the heart
, to crush or overwhelm (one) with grief.
To break a house
(Law), to remove or set aside with
violence and a felonious intent any part of a house or of
the fastenings provided to secure it.
To break the ice
, to get through first difficulties; to
overcome obstacles and make a beginning; to introduce a
To break jail
, to escape from confinement in jail, usually
by forcible means.
To break a jest
, to utter a jest. “Patroclus . . . the
livelong day breaks scurril jests.”
To break joints
, to lay or arrange bricks, shingles, etc.,
so that the joints in one course shall not coincide with
those in the preceding course.
To break a lance
, to engage in a tilt or contest.
To break the neck
, to dislocate the joints of the neck.
To break no squares
, to create no trouble. [Obs.]
To break a path
, etc., to open a way through
obstacles by force or labor.
To break upon a wheel
, to execute or torture, as a criminal
by stretching him upon a wheel, and breaking his limbs
with an iron bar; -- a mode of punishment formerly
employed in some countries.
To break wind
, to give vent to wind from the anus.
Syn: To dispart; rend; tear; shatter; batter; violate;
infringe; demolish; destroy; burst; dislocate.
(br[=a]k), v. i.
1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually
with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder.
2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a
bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.
Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
3. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to
appear; to dawn.
The day begins to break, and night is fled. --Shak.
And from the turf a fountain broke,
and gurgled at our feet. --Wordsworth.
4. To burst forth violently, as a storm.
The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
A second deluge o'er our head may break. --Dryden.
5. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the
clouds are breaking.
At length the darkness begins to break. --Macaulay.
6. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose
health or strength.
See how the dean begins to break;
Poor gentleman! he droops apace. --Swift.
7. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my
heart is breaking.
8. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
He that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes
break, and come to poverty. --Bacn.
9. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait;
as, to break into a run or gallop.
10. To fail in musical quality; as, a singer's voice breaks
when it is strained beyond its compass and a tone or note
is not completed, but degenerates into an unmusical sound
instead. Also, to change in tone, as a boy's voice at
11. To fall out; to terminate friendship.
To break upon the score of danger or expense is to
be mean and narrow-spirited. --Collier.
Note: With prepositions or adverbs:
To break away
, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or
go away against resistance.
Fear me not, man; I will not break away. --Shak.
To break down
(a) To come down by breaking; as, the coach broke down.
(b) To fail in any undertaking; to halt before successful
completion; as, the negotiations broke down due to
(c) To cease functioning or to malfunction; as, the car
broke down in the middle of the highway.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
He had broken down almost at the outset.
To break forth
, to issue; to come out suddenly, as sound,
light, etc. “Then shall thy light break forth as the
--Isa. lviii. 8;
Note: often with into in expressing or giving vent to one's
feelings. “Break forth into singing, ye mountains.”
--Isa. xliv. 23.
To break from
, to go away from abruptly.
This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.
To break into
, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a
To break in upon
, to enter or approach violently or
unexpectedly. “This, this is he; softly awhile; let us
not break in upon him.”
To break loose
(a) To extricate one's self forcibly. “Who would not,
finding way, break loose from hell?”
(b) To cast off restraint, as of morals or propriety.
To break off
(a) To become separated by rupture, or with suddenness
(b) To desist or cease suddenly. “Nay, forward, old man;
do not break off so.”
To break off from
, to desist from; to abandon, as a habit.
To break out
(a) To burst forth; to escape from restraint; to appear
suddenly, as a fire or an epidemic. “For in the
wilderness shall waters break out, and stream in the
--Isa. xxxv. 6
(b) To show itself in cutaneous eruptions; -- said of a
(c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a
To break over
, to overflow; to go beyond limits.
To break up
(a) To become separated into parts or fragments; as, the
ice break up in the rivers; the wreck will break up
in the next storm.
(b) To disperse. “The company breaks up.”
To break upon
, to discover itself suddenly to; to dawn
To break with
(a) To fall out; to sever one's relations with; to part
friendship. “It can not be the Volsces dare break
--Shak. “If she did not intend to marry
Clive, she should have broken with him altogether.”
(b) To come to an explanation; to enter into conference;
to speak. [Obs.] “I will break with her and with her