From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbreakdownbreak‧down /ˈbreɪkdaʊn/ ●○○ noun 1 [countable, uncountable]FAIL the failure of a relationship or systembreakdown of He moved away after the breakdown of his marriage. A sudden rise in oil prices could lead to a breakdown of the economy.breakdown in There has been a serious breakdown in relations between the two countries.marriage/marital/family breakdown Family breakdown can lead to behavioural problems in children.2 [countable]MIMENTALLY ILL a serious medical condition in which someone becomes mentally ill and is unable to work or deal with ordinary situations in life I was worried he might have a breakdown if he carried on working so hard. Two years ago he suffered a mental breakdown. She had already had one nervous breakdown.3 [countable]BROKEN an occasion when a car or a piece of machinery breaks and stops working Always carry a phone with you in case you have a breakdown on the motorway.breakdown in a breakdown in the cooling system4 [countable]EXPLAIN a list of all the separate parts of somethingbreakdown of Can you give us a breakdown of the figures?5 [singular] the changing of a substance into other substances the breakdown of glucose in the body to release energy → break down at break1COLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/NOUN + breakdown marriage/marital breakdownproblems caused by the increase in marital breakdownfamily breakdownA growing proportion of children are affected by family breakdown.communication breakdown (=when people do not talk or are unable to talk)The misunderstanding was the result of a communication breakdown.complete/total breakdownThe disagreement finally led to a complete breakdown of their relationship.irretrievable breakdown formal (=one that is impossible to put right again)The irretrievable breakdown of a marriage may be grounds for divorce.verbscause/lead to a breakdownMoney problems often cause marriage breakdown.
Examples from the Corpusbreakdown• It seems like our copy machine has a breakdown every week.• A breakdown is possible only for large-circulation papers like the Sun and the Mirror.• Being confined to the one living space meant an increase in hyperactivity and breakdown in family relationships.• Thus any breakdown in the cold chain could be quantified.• Child-care breakdowns set two-paycheck couples at war over who stays home with the kids.• Many families experience marital breakdown.• Uncle Leonard and Auntie Midge, more appropriately to their characters, would have had nervous breakdowns.• The people who hired us said they all thought I was having a schizophrenic breakdown.• Howard Hughes suffered a total breakdown.marriage/marital/family breakdown• Boredom, isolation and loneliness can lead to alcoholism, marriage breakdowns and a failure to complete the assignment.• Two factors are mainly responsible for movement from the owner-occupied to local authority sectors - unemployment and marital breakdown.• How could welfare have increased family breakdown during a period when the real value of the payments was decreasing?• There is little doubt, then, that the effect of marital breakdown upon the children of the couple concerned is multi-causal.• Witness the rates of marital breakdown in the Western world!• A future with just one screen for all functions would result in rapid family breakdown.• Black poverty remains; family breakdown, drug addiction and violence have worsened.• The importance of the economic support provided by husbands is neatly illustrated by working class women's attitudes towards marriage breakdown.nervous breakdown• He said she acted erratic, got the shakes one evening, almost had a nervous breakdown.• Fortunately, I received a reprieve because my boss had a nervous breakdown before he could implement his plan.• One needed to go on a crash diet, the other was in the middle of a nervous breakdown.• Popa, who had headed the Bucharest Military Court since 1987, was known to have suffered a nervous breakdown.• Uncle Leonard and Auntie Midge, more appropriately to their characters, would have had nervous breakdowns.• They are prone to nervous breakdowns if overstressed mentally. 4.• They are almost three times as prone to nervous breakdowns.• Logan, who had had two nervous breakdowns, said that he would take the pills himself.have a breakdown• I don't want him to be unhappy and have a breakdown.