breakdown

[breyk-doun]
noun
1.
a breaking down, wearing out, or sudden loss of ability to function efficiently, as of a machine.
2.
a loss of mental or physical health; collapse. Compare nervous breakdown.
3.
an analysis or classification of something; division into parts, categories, processes, etc.
4.
Chemistry.
b.
analysis ( def 6 ).
5.
Electricity. an electric discharge passing through faulty insulation or other material used to separate circuits or passing between electrodes in a vacuum or gas-filled tube.
6.
a noisy, lively folk dance.

Origin:
1825–35; noun use of verb phrase break down

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

breakdown
"a collapse," 1832, from break + down. The verbal phrase is attested from late 14c. The noun, specifically of machinery, is from 1838; meaning "an analysis in detail" is from 1936. Nervous breakdown is from 1905.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

breakdown break·down (brāk'doun')
n.

  1. The act or process of failing to function or continue.

  2. A typically sudden collapse in physical or mental health.

  3. Disintegration or decomposition into parts or elements.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
It's interesting that you are having a nervous breakdown, so to speak.
She went to the meeting because she felt she was on the verge of a nervous
  breakdown.
She wondered if this was a nervous breakdown, the genuine article.
In the nineteen-eighties, he drank himself into a nervous breakdown.
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