Free Translator Free Translator
Translators Dictionaries Courses Other
Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Break down   /breɪk daʊn/   Listen
Break down

verb
1.
Make ineffective.  Synonym: crush.
2.
Make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features.  Synonyms: analyse, analyze, dissect, take apart.  "Analyze a sentence" , "Analyze a chemical compound"
3.
Lose control of one's emotions.  Synonyms: lose it, snap.  "When her baby died, she snapped"
4.
Stop operating or functioning.  Synonyms: break, conk out, die, fail, give out, give way, go, go bad.  "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"
5.
Fall apart.  Synonyms: collapse, crumble, crumple, tumble.  "Negotiations broke down"
6.
Cause to fall or collapse.
7.
Separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts.  Synonyms: break up, decompose.
8.
Collapse due to fatigue, an illness, or a sudden attack.  Synonym: collapse.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Break down" Quotes from Famous Books



... your word and married me, but I am not looking for that kind of a winning. I don't mind confessing that I played my last card when I released you from your engagement. I said to myself: If that doesn't break down the ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... from birth, parents being expected to present them once a year at school for examination by the school physician. In this way defects can be corrected and health measures devised to build up a physique that should not break down under the strain of school life. For children whose mothers work during the day, and for those whose home environment is worse than school, it might be cheaper in the long run to assign teachers to protect them from injury while they play in a park, roof ...
— Civics and Health • William H. Allen

... attempt at international disarmament must break down on the question of control, which is absolutely impracticable. A classic example of that is afforded by Prussia when overthrown by Napoleon. Her army was to be limited to 45,000 men, but her patriotism, notwithstanding the most ruthless application of every means of ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War from the Beginning to March 1915, Vol 1, No. 2 - Who Began the War, and Why? • Various

... everything en etat monumental; thankless work, not counted, without immediate profit." He speaks of working at this amazing rate for three years longer; in reality he worked for fifteen. But two years after the declaration we have just quoted, it seemed to him that he should break down: "My poor sister, I am draining the cup to the dregs. It is in vain that I work my fourteen hours a day; I can't do enough. While I write this to you I find myself so weary that I have just sent Auguste to take back ...
— The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877 • Various

... give way to tears more readily than men? Granted. Is their sex any the weaker for it? Not a bit. It is simply a difference of temperament: that is all. It involves no inferiority. If you think that this habit necessarily means weakness, wait and see! Who has not seen women break down in tears during some domestic calamity, while the "stronger sex" were calm; and who has not seen those same women, that temporary excitement being over, rise up and dry their eyes, and be thenceforth the support and stay of their households, and perhaps bear ...
— Women and the Alphabet • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... my Pope, Have Wits Immortal more to fear or hope? Wits toil and travail round the Plant of Fame, Their Works its Garden, and its Growth their Aim, Then Commentators, in unwieldy Dance, Break down the Barriers of the trim Pleasance, Pursue the Poet, like Actaeon's Hounds, Beyond the fences of his Garden Grounds, Rend from the singing Robes each borrowed Gem, Rend from the laurel'd Brows the Diadem, And, if one Rag of Character they ...
— Letters to Dead Authors • Andrew Lang

... be brave; but once, do you remember, I burnt my hand as a child when I stole the sweetmeats from the cooling pot, and ah! it hurt me. I will try to die as those who went before me would have died, but if I should break down think not the less of me, for the spirit is willing though the flesh ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... friendly glance. He pretended not to see it. She felt that he was annoyed, and guessed why: but it did not trouble her: it amused her. If she had had a real squabble with some one she loved, in spite of all the pain it might have caused her, she would never have made the least effort to break down any misunderstanding: it would have been too much trouble. Everything would come right if it ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... steerage passenger, Davis, sir, is probably the cause. The man may be heavily in debt, or possibly a defaulter; for these rogues, when they break down, often fall lower than the 'twixt decks of a ship ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... Hsin, who had proved useful as a propagandist and a bomb-thrower in earlier days, but who was useless in serious warfare, although he assumed command of the Nanking garrison which had revolted to a man, and attempted a march up the Pukow railway in the direction of Tientsin, found his effort break down almost immediately from lack of organization and fled to Japan. The Nanking troops, although deserted by their leader, offered a strenuous resistance to the capture of the southern capital which was finally effected by the old reactionary General Chang ...
— The Fight For The Republic In China • B.L. Putnam Weale

... her out into the empty hall to beseech her for permission to tell you. He had not been to bed that night, at all. She never afterward forgot his desperate, worn face and that memory finally drove her to confession. But she refused him. He did break down then, and flashed out at her that he must and would tell you the truth, when he left her. Of course he did not do so. Allan, she declares that he then told you, that she knows it because you wrote to her that ...
— From the Car Behind • Eleanor M. Ingram

... capital beginning. If you won't break down somewhere, as you always do, with some frightful false quantity, that you would get an imposition for, if you were a boy. I wish you were. I should like to see old Hoxton's face, if you were to show him up some ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... never quite so violent after she arrived. Katy was more thankful for this than can well be told; for her great underlying dread—a dread she dared not whisper plainly even to herself—was that "Polly dear" might break down before Amy was better, and then ...
— What Katy Did Next • Susan Coolidge

... embarrassed, and his embarrassment—whether real or feigned—will create sympathy for him. Besides, he can ask for indulgence with more grace than the preceding speaker, as he is supposed to be taken by surprise. He may be so overcome with emotion as to break down altogether, and yet he will ...
— Toasts - and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say - the Right Thing in the Right Way • William Pittenger

... The food, the sister said, at Kaiserwerth, as in all the training-schools, was "nourishing, but very simple." Such facts are worth noting. If they were accompaniments of our system of education, I do not believe that American girls would break down under the brain-work that any University course for men, in our country, imposes. As to the item of shoes, who does not know that a great deal more work, and better, can be performed in shoes that fit, than in such as tire the feet? ...
— The Education of American Girls • Anna Callender Brackett

... the categories, which is in reality a mere fault of the judgement when not under due restraint from criticism, and therefore not paying sufficient attention to the limits of the sphere in which the pure understanding is allowed to exercise its functions; but real principles which exhort us to break down all those barriers, and to lay claim to a perfectly new field of cognition, which recognizes no line of demarcation. Thus transcendental and transcendent are not identical terms. The principles of the pure understanding, which we have already propounded, ought to be ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... encamped, which was called Xarosa, and remained there in his tents, and he was at a stand what he should do, whether to abide the coming of the Almoravides, or to depart; howbeit he resolved to abide and see what would befall. And he gave order to break down the bridges and opea the sluices, that the plain might be flooded, so that they could only come by one way, which was a narrow pass. Tidings now came that the host of the Almoravides was at Algezira de Xucar, ...
— Chronicle Of The Cid • Various

... murmured Ella again. She didn't feel able to tell them just yet how this had all been forestalled; she felt that she would infallibly break down if she tried. ...
— The Talking Horse - And Other Tales • F. Anstey

... since the sense of moral law was just as strong amongst civilized peoples beyond the range of Christianity, or before the Christian era. Joseph McCabe, commenting on Professor Westermarck's work states, "All the fine theories of the philosophers break down before this vast collection of facts. There is no intuition whatever of an august and eternal law, and the less God is brought into connection with these pitiful blunders and often monstrous perversions of the ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... Father, for I know that all goodness comes from Him. He surely has shown His love to her in sparing her to see me go from her home to Washington to school and spend three years and then go to Harper's Ferry and spend four years, and to see me out in the world teaching for eleven years, and to break down while at my post and now at home to serve in another way. Is not this not God's love to me, as a poor, humble servant of His? I should never forget to give the love and ...
— A Slave Girl's Story - Being an Autobiography of Kate Drumgoold. • Kate Drumgoold

... we went from Naples to Vesuvius, and walked over the hot new lava there. Do you remember how tired I was? I know it disappointed you that I was tired. One walked there in spite of the heat because there was a crust; like custom, like law. But directly a crust forms on things, you are restless to break down to the fire again. You talk of beauty, both of you, as something terrible, mysterious, imperative. YOUR beauty is something altogether different from anything I know or feel. It has pain in it. Yet you always speak as though it was something I ought ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... arm of the law of the land loses its power when it comes our turn to receive justice. The law either plays truant, or openly acknowledges that it has no power to defend us. But the God of law and {pg 199} justice, who broke down one form of slavery, will break down this, too. Still, there is a part for us to do. On this line, as on others, the man who needs help must help himself while he ...
— The American Missionary, Volume XLII. No. 7. July 1888 • Various

... sinner from entering in. Therefore Jesus Christ, who came himself into the world to satisfy justice and remove its plea, that there might be no obstruction from that airth, he sends out his powerful Spirit with the word, to deliver poor captive sinners, to break down the wall of ignorance and blindness, to cast down the high tower of wickedness and enmity against God, to take captive and chain our lusts that kept us in bondage. And, as he made heaven accessible by his own personal obedience and sufferings, so he makes sinners ready ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... once his diabolically ingenious scheme of revenge. He told his landlady he was going to Devonport, so that if he bungled, the police would be put temporarily off his track. His real destination was Liverpool, for he intended to leave the country. Lest, however, his plan should break down here, too, he arranged an ingenious alibi by being driven to Euston for the 5:15 train to Liverpool. The cabman would not know he did not intend to go by it, but meant to return to 11, Glover Street, there to perpetrate this foul crime, interruption to which he had possibly barred ...
— The Big Bow Mystery • I. Zangwill

... break down; he left a high C hanging perilously in mid-air, to shout out "I like madeleines, I do!" We assured him he should ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... signs of weakening in the timbers become apparent, the remedy is very simple. Four or more of the uprights are lined with planks, and waste material is shot in from above, and a strong support is at once formed, or if signs of crushing are noticed, it is possible to go into the stope, break down ore, and at ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 810, July 11, 1891 • Various

... episode which inspired the American Ambassador, Mr. Gerard, to tell the American correspondents last summer that they would do well to obtain their freedom from the German censorship before invoking the Embassy's good offices to break down the alleged interference with their dispatches by the British censorship. When the Germans learned of the rebuff which Mr. Gerard had administered to his journalistic compatriots, the Berlin Press launched one of those violent ...
— The Land of Deepening Shadow - Germany-at-War • D. Thomas Curtin

... I need not ask you to be remembered in your prayers, for I feel that in your supplication to the Throne of Mercy I have not been forgotten.... I have only one thought which causes me much sorrow, and that is that my good and loving mother will break down under the weight of her affliction, and, oh, God, I who loved her more than the life which animates the hand that writes to be the cause of it! This thought unmans and prostrates me. I wrote to her ...
— Speeches from the Dock, Part I • Various

... she said. 'Nixon was sent to me just before the sports; and I don't think he will break down to-day, and I am so thankful.' And ...
— Black Rock • Ralph Connor

... be several things that a man could do at home to relieve the tedium of his existence while the family is away. Once you get accustomed to the sound of your footsteps on the floors and reach a state of self-control where you don't break down and sob every time you run into a toy which has been left standing around, there are lots of ways of keeping yourself ...
— Love Conquers All • Robert C. Benchley

... set out the day he had intended: that nobody, since the creation of the world, ever set out upon a long journey the day he first appointed: besides, there were at least a hundred chances in my favour that his lordship would break down on his way to Portsmouth; that the wind would not be fair when he arrived there; that half the people in his suite would not be ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. 2 • Maria Edgeworth

... to be meritorious, the instant they ceased to be appropriated. Nature, propriety, and custom have prescribed certain bounds to each; bounds which the prudent and the candid will never attempt to break down; and indeed it would be highly impolitic to annihilate distinctions from which each acquires excellence, and to attempt innovations, by which both would ...
— Essays on Various Subjects - Principally Designed for Young Ladies • Hannah More

... is a very dear friend." Her lip quivered, and she shook herself mentally; she was not going to break down at this juncture. She went quickly on, ahead of the phrase of sympathy on its way to the minister's lips. "She lives at the ...
— Polly and the Princess • Emma C. Dowd

... your people not to break down the fences and spoil the place and eat our food? We will then agree that the oxen and horses shall not hurt your children and all the old troubles shall be ...
— The Talking Beasts • Various

... to soothe the young lady's mind, and aid her in composing her spirits, necessarily threw the Master of Ravenswood into such an intercourse with her father as was calculated, for the moment at least, to break down the barrier of feudal enmity which divided them. To express himself churlishly, or even coldly, towards an old man whose daughter (and SUCH a daughter) lay before them, overpowered with natural terror—and all this under his own roof, the thing was impossible; and by ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... other large game. Nearly all these guns are made with hammers, because as a rule sportsmen travelling in wild countries prefer to have the old-fashioned hammer guns, which are so universally understood, instead of a hammerless gun, which cannot be so easily repaired should it break down in any part. Messrs. Holland and Holland inform me that for the ordinary 12-bore Paradox weighing 7 lbs. the usual charge of 3 drams is all that is necessary for soft-skinned animals such as tigers, leopards, and bears, but they also make a heavier 12-bore, weighing from 8 lbs. to 8-1/2 ...
— Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore • Robert H. Elliot

... liberality in practice deserve all honour; but these very qualities drew upon him the distrust of his orthodox brethren; and, while his writings were powerful in the first half of the present century to break down many bulwarks of unreason, he seems to have been constantly in fear of losing touch with the Church, and therefore to have promptly attacked some scientific reasonings, which, had he been a layman, not holding a brief for the Church, he would probably have studied with more care and less ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... "it can do anything any other tank can do, and then some more. It can demolish a good-sized house or heavy wall, break down big trees, and chew up barbed-wire fences as if they were toothpicks. I'll show you all that in due time. Just now, if the repairs are finished, we can get back on ...
— Tom Swift and his War Tank - or, Doing his Bit for Uncle Sam • Victor Appleton

... and Miss Dobb mean to break down the choir. It is a conspiracy," said Hans, who felt that Paul's ...
— Winning His Way • Charles Carleton Coffin

... however, did the small hand which drew itself away with decision, the pretty lips which smiled again that coolly friendly smile, the blue-black eyes which were steady as ever in their straight look. Max, peering in upon the two to tell Jarvis to come along, saw his sister break down in her self-command, but only at sight of himself. As Jarvis turned away she ran after him to reach beyond him and clutch her brother's arm for one quick pressure, with the low cry, "Oh, Max—please—please—write ...
— Strawberry Acres • Grace S. Richmond

... sir! If you do I shall break down at once. Can't you see it's the boys' chaff as has kep' me going? Why, look at 'em, sir. Who's going to make a party of bearers? It's as much as the boys can do to carry theirselves. No, no; I shall last out now till I can ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... which I knew he would misunderstand, and so I put off saying it. But when he announced that it was time for him to return to London,—at which his wife suddenly paled, so that he had to sign to her not to break down,—I delivered the message. ...
— Stories By English Authors: London • Various

... does not last. By the sixth day the power would have fallen off by half. Besides, no one would dare to serve as engineer, for the radiation will rot away the flesh of a living man who comes near it, causing gnawing ulcers or curing them. It will not only break down the complex and delicate molecules of organic matter but will attack the atom itself, changing, it is believed, one element into another, again the fulfilment of a dream of the alchemists. And its rays, unseen and unfelt by us, are yet strong enough to penetrate an armorplate and ...
— Creative Chemistry - Descriptive of Recent Achievements in the Chemical Industries • Edwin E. Slosson

... let out for a romp; and then came the captain staggerin' along, his face scorched, his coat half burned off him, the woman in his arms in a dead faint and pretty nigh smothered. The old fool had locked herself in her stateroom—he had to break down the door to get at her—cryin' she'd rather die there than be separated ...
— The Veiled Lady - and Other Men and Women • F. Hopkinson Smith

... revised version of Blue Beard that would turn that venerable gentleman gray, could he read it. Uncle will be sure to. I dare him to solve the puzzle of my fancy writing. But I made Sada San know the Prince Red Head was coming to her rescue, if the engine did not break down. ...
— The Lady and Sada San - A Sequel to The Lady of the Decoration • Frances Little

... man-at-arms would not get the better of you; but in a single combat, with plenty of room, it would be a good man, indeed, who would tackle you; especially were he clad in armour, and you fighting without it. His only chance would be to get in one downright blow, that would break down your guard. As Marsden says, you fight like a wildcat, rather than as a man-at-arms; but as the time may come when you will ride in heavy armour, and so lose the advantage of your agility, you had best continue to practise regularly with us, and the men-at-arms, and learn to fight ...
— Both Sides the Border - A Tale of Hotspur and Glendower • G. A. Henty

... engine doesn't break down, and the track doesn't spread, and they don't run into any cows, and the up-freight isn't behind time, and the swing bridge isn't open, it ought to be here in about ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... close a volume of literary criticism with a study on the work and temperament of a painter. I have been led to do so for more than one reason. A noticeable tendency of modern criticism, from the time of Burke and Lessing, has been to break down the barrier between poetry and the kindred arts; and it is perhaps well that this tendency should find expression in the following selection. But a further reason is that Mr. Pater was never so much himself, was never so entirely master of his craft, as when interpreting ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... gallop of the Cavaliers has reached Chinnor, two miles away, and the goal of their foray. The compact, strongly-built village is surrounded. They form a parallel line behind the houses, on each side, leaping fences and ditches to their posts. They break down the iron chains stretched nightly across each end of the street, and line it from end to end. Rupert, Will Legge, and the "forlorn hope," dismounting, rush in upon the quarters, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... feared," said Mrs. Staunton. "I am not going to break down; don't think it for a minute. I am as well as possible." She trembled all over as she spoke. There was a purple spot on one cheek, the other was deadly pale. A blue tint surrounded her lips. "I am perfectly well," continued Mrs. Staunton, breathing in a labored way. "It is only that I have got a ...
— A Girl in Ten Thousand • L. T. Meade

... sorrow of her only brother's marriage. The thought of his child and of the impossibility of taking her to her heart and home had been like a nightmare at first, and yet Miss Prince lacked courage to break down the barriers, and to at least know the worst. She kept the two ideas of the actual niece and the ideal one whom she might have loved so much distinct and separate in her mind, and was divided between a longing to see the girl and a fierce dread of her sudden appearance. ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... experience we had gained at Cape Spartivento. This morning we grappled, hooked the cable at once, and have made an excellent start. Though I have called this the small cable, it is much larger than the Bona one. - Here comes a break down and a ...
— Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin • Robert Louis Stevenson

... between the two armies at Petersburg began in March, 1865. But events of great importance in many quarters had preceded this final conflict, the result of which had been to break down all the outer defences of the Confederacy, leaving only the inner citadel still intact. The events in question are so familiar to those who will peruse these pages, that a passing reference to ...
— A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee • John Esten Cooke

... time. However this might be, he was not to be found anywhere, and I sought him how many times up and down the long length of the train. You can see me, reader, can you not? walking about the train, imagining all kinds of catastrophes—that the train might break down, or that it might not stop at Orelay; or, a still more likely catastrophe, that the young lady might change her mind. What if that were to happen at the last moment! Ah, if that were to happen I should have perchance to throw myself out of the train, unless peradventure I refrained ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... things, these motor-cars. I was saying so to Roberts, the chauffeur, just as soon as I 'eard Miss Elsa was going out with Mr Barstowe. I said, "Roberts, these cars is tricky; break down when you're twenty miles from hanywhere as soon as look at you. Roberts," I said, slipping him a sovereign, "'ow awful it would be if the car should break down ...
— The Man Upstairs and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... had swept and the last rains had fallen. My throat tightened and my eyes smarted from the wave of self-pity which washed through my body. It angered me, ridiculously, to think that I was going to break down at ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... external success, the effect of my performances would more than satisfy me. But, as you know, my chief object was to hear something from "Lohengrin," and especially the orchestral prelude, which interested me uncommonly. The impression was most powerful, and I had to make every effort not to break down. So much is certain: I fully share your predilection for "Lohengrin"; it is the best thing I have done so far. On the public also it had the same effect. In spite of the "Tannhauser" overture, preceding them, the pieces ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... rivals with extreme disfavor, and especially and justly suspicious of Mr. Crawford, speaks of Mr. Webster's conduct in the matter with the utmost bitterness. He refers to it again and again as an attempt to screen Crawford and break down Edwards, and denounces Mr. Webster as false, insidious, and treacherous. Much of this may be credited to the heated animosities of the moment, but there can be no doubt that Mr. Webster took the matter into his own hands in the committee, and made every effort to ...
— Daniel Webster • Henry Cabot Lodge

... relatively more modern towns, such as Brussels and Antwerp, were ready to accept the beneficial protection of the princes. The villages and the country, which had suffered for a long time from the tyranny of the large towns, were all on his side. The transformation of industry and trade contributed to break down local mediaeval customs and privileges, to the greater benefit of the State. The result was a compromise, and it is that compromise which is revealed by Burgundian municipal architecture. The town ...
— Belgium - From the Roman Invasion to the Present Day • Emile Cammaerts

... grew, became pervasive. Burke, accustomed as he was to scenes of dramatic violence, now experienced an altogether unfamiliar thrill. As for Garson, once again the surge of feeling threatened to overwhelm his self-control. He must not break down! For Mary's sake, he must show himself stoical, quite undisturbed ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... prince hath the charge of both tables committed to him by God, to the end he may understand that not temporal matters only, but also religious and ecclesiastical causes, pertain to his office: besides also that God by His prophets often and earnestly commandeth the king to cut down the groves, to break down the images and altars of idols, and to write out the book of the law for himself: and besides that the prophet Isaiah saith, "A king ought to be a patron and a nurse of the Church:" I say, besides all these things, ...
— The Apology of the Church of England • John Jewel

... beyond that. Why do you threaten me with dancing to me? Have I lately given you cause to think I deserve to have such a punishment hung in terrorem over me? Besides, threatening me is injudicious, for it rouses a spirit of resistance in me not easy to break down. I assure you o [in allusion to my mispronunciation of that vowel] is really greatly improved. I take much pains with it, as also with my deportment; they will, I hope, no longer annoy you when next we meet. You must not ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... in a mood to break down the door with his big shoulders; but the Scotchman, with more reason, if less intuition, fumbled about on the frame of the door till he found the invisible button; and the door swung ...
— The Innocence of Father Brown • G. K. Chesterton

... partially break down the atoms of fuel passing from the tank," explained Dex, desperately attempting scientific phraseology for a matter as far over his head as the remote stars. He raised his hand a trifle, bringing it nearer the ...
— The Red Hell of Jupiter • Paul Ernst

... day shown to twelve sets of company, and as often forced to act over again the same fopperies, till I was half dead with weariness and vexation; for those who had seen me made such wonderful reports, that the people were ready to break down the doors to come in. My master, for his own interest, would not suffer any one to touch me except my nurse; and to prevent danger, benches were set round the table at such a distance as to put me out of every body's reach. However, an unlucky school-boy aimed a ...
— Gulliver's Travels - into several remote nations of the world • Jonathan Swift

... Payne, "and it is one of the great mysteries of all to me what we really want with company. It does not actually take away from us our sense of loneliness at all. You can't look into my mind, nor can I look into yours; whatever we do or say to break down the veil between us, we can't do it. And I have often been happier when alone than I have ever ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... with justice too; did they not break down my black fig tree, which I had planted and dunged with ...
— Peace • Aristophanes

... his mind to give Kamasura the whip. You know what that means? Well, I'll tell you. It means that after the first dozen strokes—as Borgson will lay them on—Kamasura will break down and tell everything we don't want him to say. Understand? With the cabin warned of what we're going to do, what chance would we have to take them? So we'll hang around close, lads, and the minute Kamasura opens his ...
— Harrigan • Max Brand

... came back, her courage surprised and rejoiced him. After that one sign of weakness, she became suddenly strong, and he knew by the expression of her face, for he had had great experience with mothers, that he could count on her not to break down again while he ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... that urban as well as feudal aristocracies, burgher classes as well as noble castes, were liable to become effete. Hence it might well be concluded that the democratic movement, operating as it does to break down class barriers, was promoting instead of ...
— Evolution in Modern Thought • Ernst Haeckel

... property cannot be justified, on a mere balance of probable expediency in the use of it. Unless it is as a punishment for gross neglect and abuse, as was alleged in the partial confiscations of the sixteenth century, or unless it is called for as a step to break down what can no longer be tolerated, like slavery, there is no other name for it, in the estimate of justice, than that of a deep and irreparable wrong. This is certainly not the time to punish the Church ...
— Occasional Papers - Selected from The Guardian, The Times, and The Saturday Review, - 1846-1890 • R.W. Church

... physical needs were concerned, we were as well off as any of the fellows, but the mental stagnation was calculated, with real German scientific reasoning, to break us down to the place where we could not think for ourselves. They would break down our initiative, they thought, and then we should do as they told us. As usual in dealing with spiritual forces, ...
— Three Times and Out • Nellie L. McClung

... London. It is universally said that the morals of more hitherto good people are wrecked by the strain put upon women by the absence of their husbands than was ever before heard of. Everybody is overworked. Fewer people are literally truthful than ever before. Men and women break down and fall out of working ranks continuously. The number of men in the government who have disappeared from public view is amazing, the number that would like to disappear is still greater—from sheer overstrain. The Prime Minister is tired. Bonar Law in a long conference that Crosby and ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... made a good end, hearing many prayers, and joining in them as long as he was able, and devoutly receiving the communion; and what is better, manifesting some tender anxiety lest his faithful wife and patient nurse should do too much and grieve too much for him. When he saw her like to break down, he would say: "Bear up; bear up, Adelaide!" just like any other good husband. William was not a bad King, as Kings went in those days; he was, doubtless, an orthodox churchman, and we may believe he was a good Christian, from his charge to the new Bishop of Ely ...
— Queen Victoria, her girlhood and womanhood • Grace Greenwood

... to Leila, a man whose hardness suggested a bitter knowledge of dark ways of life. Now, crouched down in the depths of his chair, he kept watching Leila with a gaze of smouldering adoration, revealing that love for her which had been strong enough to break down those barriers which she had erected in the years while he had worked for her in Jacob's bondage. In her he seemed to be discovering, all over again, the vestal to tend ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... generally quite prostrates me, sometimes even for a long time afterwards. I believe attending the anniversary would possibly make me seriously ill. I should enjoy attending and shaking you and a few of my other friends by the hand, but it would be folly even if I did not break down at the time. I told Sabine that I did not know who had proposed and seconded me for the medal, but that I presumed it was you, or Hooker or Busk, and that I felt sure, if you attended, you would receive ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... burden to their friends after they have left it. Even those who do not altogether break down are unfit for service in the field, and would certainly be a source of weakness to their regiments, and a discredit to their comrades if ...
— With the Guards' Brigade from Bloemfontein to Koomati Poort and Back • Edward P. Lowry

... mention in yesterday's note that within Blythswood plantation, near to the Bridge of Inchinnan, the unfortunate Earl of Argyle was taken in 1685, at a stone called Argyle's Stone. Blythswood says the Highland drovers break down his fences in order to pay a visit to the place. The Earl had passed the Cart river, and was taken ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... were injured and abused, the objects of a guilty and unreasonable prejudice—that they occupied a lower place in society than was right—that they ought to be treated as if they were whites; and in repeated instances, attempts were made by their friends to mingle them with whites, so as to break down the existing distinctions of society. Now, the question is not, whether these things, that were urged by Abolitionists, were true. The thing maintained is, that the method taken by them to remove this prejudice was neither peaceful ...
— An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism - With reference to the duty of American females • Catharine E. Beecher

... play of his inner ideas, is what, for want of a more exact term, may be called social aspiration. That is to say, his dominant passion is a passion to lift himself by at least a step or two in the society that he is a part of—a passion to improve his position, to break down some shadowy barrier of caste, to achieve the countenance of what, for all his talk of equality, he recognizes and accepts as his betters. The American is a pusher. His eyes are ever fixed upon some ...
— The American Credo - A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind • George Jean Nathan

... I sought the key of the side-door in the kitchen; I sought, too, a phial of oil and a feather; I oiled the key and the lock. I got some water, I got some bread: for perhaps I should have to walk far; and my strength, sorely shaken of late, must not break down. All this I did without one sound. I opened the door, passed out, shut it softly. Dim dawn glimmered in the yard. The great gates were closed and locked; but a wicket in one of them was only latched. Through that I ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... go home to-morrow. We can make the journey in short stages. Do not break down now, Cornelia. It is only a ...
— The Maid of Maiden Lane • Amelia E. Barr

... The Church was the schoolmaster of the Middle Ages. Culture was the humanizing and refining influence of the Renaissance. The problem for the present and the future is how, through education, to render culture accessible to all—to break down that barrier which in the Middle Ages was set between clerk and layman, and which in the intermediate period has arisen between the intelligent and ignorant classes. Whether the Utopia of a modern world in which all men shall enjoy the same social, political, and intellectual ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... for Hull. Don't you think you ought to go to the police with your story? Then we can have Hull arrested. They'll give him the third degree. My opinion is he'll break down under it and confess." ...
— Tangled Trails - A Western Detective Story • William MacLeod Raine

... we close. How is this turmoil of modern existence impressing itself upon the physical constitutions of modern men and women? When an individual man engages in furious productive activity, his friends warn him that he will break down. Does the collective man of our time need some such friendly warning? Let us first get a hint from what foreigners think of us ultra-modernized Americans. Wandering journalists, of an ethnological turn ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... pomace, would not the large value shown by analysis be chiefly in the seeds? My observation is that these are exceedingly slow to became available in the soil. Would composting break down ...
— One Thousand Questions in California Agriculture Answered • E.J. Wickson

... through over cropping. It is held in place by stones, grasses, and the roots of shrubs and trees. Untouched by human hands, on the prairies and in the forests, topsoil is deepened year by year as winter frosts break up soft rocks, as dead grasses, leaves, twigs break down into humus, to become part of the topsoil and provide the nourishment for a ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... these; he had his boundaries. His instincts were solvent, his policies sound, his suspicions full of life and courage, so that you went no higher than nine millions. Burdened beyond that, his imagination would break down; and since his instincts, his policies, and his suspicions rested wholly upon his imagination, when the latter fell the others must of need go with it. There is a depth to money just as there is to a lake; when you led Mr. Harley in beyond the nine-million-dollar mark ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... that Peter the Great began to break down the Oriental isolation of Russia from the rest of Europe, it was his policy to draw to St. Petersburg—the city of his own creation—leaders of thought from every capital in Europe. And as his aim was to establish a navy, he especially endeavored to attract ...
— Vikings of the Pacific - The Adventures of the Explorers who Came from the West, Eastward • Agnes C. Laut

... sprang up from his chair and put his hand on her shoulder. "My poor little girl!" he said, "you feel it. Of course you feel it. You've behaved like a heroine, but you've had to screw up your courage. I don't want you to think of all that. That is why I haven't said anything about it. You mustn't break down." ...
— The Squire's Daughter - Being the First Book in the Chronicles of the Clintons • Archibald Marshall

... I wasn't likely to break down—not much—whatever the jury did or the judge said. All the same, after an hour had passed, and we still waiting there, it began to be a sickening kind of feeling. The day had been all taken up with the evidence and the rest of the trial; all long, dragging ...
— Robbery Under Arms • Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood

... but redeemed and almost glorified by the deep-set, eager, burning eyes. He had a way of bending to his audience when he spoke, with one long arm crooked behind him and the other extended to mark the sentences with a pointing finger, as if to remove the final trace of impersonality; to break down the last of the barriers of reserve which might be thrown up by ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... the oak panels dominates all others. Through my broken wicket, I hear the voice of the Commandant ordering the soldiers to fire on any prisoner leaving his cell, and to the warders to manacle all those who are attempting to break down their doors. ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III., July 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... a dull, heavy fit of thinking, in which he saw, as if he were in a dream, the corporal helped out of the pit by means of the rope, and then go feebly along the cavern, to break down about half-way, when four men in two pairs crossed their wrists and, keeping step, bore him, lying horizontally, to the next ladder, up which he was assisted, after which he was borne once again by four more of the men; and as Drew's ...
— The Kopje Garrison - A Story of the Boer War • George Manville Fenn

... towards Evening: which created us a fresh disturbance, thinking them to be People that were coming to chace us. But at length we heard Elephants behind us, between us and the Voice, which we knew by the noise of cracking the Boughs and small Trees, which they break down and eat. These Elephants were a very good Guard behind us, and were methought like the Darkness that came between Israel and the Egyptians. For the People we knew would not dare to go forwards hearing Elephants ...
— An Historical Relation Of The Island Ceylon In The East Indies • Robert Knox

... often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man and prostrate him in the dust seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it approaches to ...
— Many Thoughts of Many Minds - A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age • Various

... and sympathy in the daily paths of life. Not only those whom you like, but those you care not for as well; not with those who love you only, but with those who dislike you also. Remember that you have to break down barriers—barriers of the bodies that bar you out from your fellow Selves in the worlds around you, and that breaking down of the barriers is part of the training in the spiritual life. Only as barrier after barrier is broken down, only ...
— London Lectures of 1907 • Annie Besant

... his point of view—that painting may fairly deal with a chapter of history—is perfectly right. The prevailing strain of the story is the strength of weakness—ex dulci fortitude, to invert the old enigma. "O God, O my God, hear me also, a widow. Break down their stateliness by the hand of a woman!" It is the refrain that runs through the whole history of Israel, that reasonable complacency of a little people in their God-fraught destiny. And, withal, a streak of savage ...
— Earthwork Out Of Tuscany • Maurice Hewlett

... summoned to Trenton, New Jersey, as a witness in one of the numerous suits which grew out of the efforts to break down his monopoly. During his examination he was very much exposed, as the hall of the Legislature was uncommonly cold. In returning home, he crossed the Hudson in an open boat, and was detained on the river several hours. ...
— Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made • James D. McCabe, Jr.

... for all at once there was a loud roar, and a charge of stones, it seemed, came hurtling over their heads, and flew up, to break down twigs and huge leaves from the trees, while, as the smoke rose, the Malays leaped overboard on either side, yelling excitedly, splashing in the water, and then ...
— Mother Carey's Chicken - Her Voyage to the Unknown Isle • George Manville Fenn

... well imagine that by this time the irritation of the Man had gone almost past bearing. He would quarrel with his best friends, and they, in revenge, would put something more on to the burden, till he felt he would break down. It haunted his dreams and filled most of his waking thoughts, and did all those things which burdens have been discovered to do since the beginning of time, until at last, though very reluctantly, he determined ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... Crittenden's lunch, where, indeed, I was perfectly self-possessed. But here, there being less formality, and more of a conversational character in what was said, my usual diffidence could not so well be kept in abeyance. However, I did not break down to an intolerable extent, and, winding up my eloquence as briefly as possible, we had a social talk. Their whole stay could not have been much more than ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... arise those notions, which we call "general," such as man, horse, dog, &c. They arise, to wit, from the fact that so many images, for instance, of men, are formed simultaneously in the human mind, that the powers of imagination break down, not indeed utterly, but to the extent of the mind losing count of small differences between individuals (e.g. colour, size, &c.) and their definite number, and only distinctly imagining that, in which all the individuals, ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... want to take you and Mrs. Alexander King. She wouldn't go a step in Jord's roadster at his pace. And if she would, and we went in pairs, Jord would be always wanting to change off and take you with him—and as you very well know I'm not made that way. Stop guessing, Len, and prepare yourself to break down Mrs. King's opposition, if she makes any—which I ...
— Red Pepper's Patients - With an Account of Anne Linton's Case in Particular • Grace S. Richmond

... "lopping" down on sofas, sighing like a what's-its-name. Well, well; the ignorance of you country folks and the wisdom of us city folks! We hope to get to Dorset by the 17th of this month; it depends upon how many interruptions I have and how many days I have to lie by. I can't imagine why I break down so, for I don't know when I've been so well as during this spring; but Mr. P. and A. say I work like a tiger, and I s'pose I do without knowing it. I am so glad you had a pleasant Sunday. No doubt you had more bodily strength with which to enjoy spiritual things. ...
— The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss • George L. Prentiss

... theories of international law, I fear the practical result will be that she has secured the permanent enmity of one powerful people, and the discontented distrust of another. It is ill trusting even proverbs implicitly; that old one, about the safe middle course, will break down, like the rest, sometimes. My pertinacious querist stopped, I suppose, when he had got to the end of his list, and apparently spent the rest of the evening in a slow process of digestion; for he would break out, now and then, at the most ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... down at a point so close by that it seemed he could touch it if he stretched out his hand. The illusion of physical nearness was perfect. The evil eyes of the creatures were fastened upon him; tentacle arms uncoiled and reached forth as if to break down ...
— Wanderer of Infinity • Harl Vincent

... by one man's will, Freemasons are under majority rule. Jesuits bottom morality in expediency, Freemasons in regard for the well-being of mankind. Jesuits recognize only one creed, Freemasons hold in respect all honest convictions. Jesuits seek to break down individual independence, Freemasons to build it up" (Mysteria, by ...
— The Builders - A Story and Study of Masonry • Joseph Fort Newton

... Jerry's visits would be less frequent after Monday. That was one of the nice things about Mr. Bullfinch, his showing no curiosity about Jerry's affairs. Jerry was so grateful to him for not asking embarrassing questions that he found it hard not to break down and tell him all about the charge account. But that was a temptation Jerry had already successfully resisted several times and ...
— Jerry's Charge Account • Hazel Hutchins Wilson

... Heron's precautions for the safe-guarding of the most precious life in Europe were more complete than he had anticipated. What lavish liberality would be required! what superhuman ingenuity and boundless courage in order to break down all the barriers that had been set up round that young life that flickered inside ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... you going, Great-Heart? "To break down old dividing-lines; To carry out My Lord's designs; To build again His broken shrines." Then God ...
— Winning a Cause - World War Stories • John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood

... had the sense to move them right back into their new apartments—and not one of them could be made to break down and admit that those buildings hadn't been slums yesterday. Well, you couldn't blame them for sticking by Witch, look what Witch had done for them was the word that went ...
— Prologue to an Analogue • Leigh Richmond

... the most pathetic thing I had ever heard in my life," continued the jeweller; "and I felt inclined to break down myself when she added: 'Oh! I can't tell you how I love him and how he loves me; we belong to each other, and even if we are only to be together for a single hour I mean to marry him in spite of everybody, in order to bear ...
— Six days of the Irish Republic - A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics • Louis Redmond-Howard

... doctor, 'I am in professional attendance on this lady, and don't choose to allow any discussion on your part. Go outside and fetch a little brandy, or I foresee that you'll break down.' ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... near disconcerting the plot of Master Byles Gridley. He had come on an inquisitor's errand, his heart secure, as he thought, against all blandishments, his will steeled to break down all resistance. He had come armed with an instrument of torture worse than the thumb-screw, worse than the pulleys which attempt the miracle of adding a cubit to the stature, worse than the brazier of live coals brought close to the naked ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)



Words linked to "Break down" :   do, give-up the ghost, sustain, change, breakdown, chemical science, crack, behave, digest, cash in one's chips, suffer, croak, buy the farm, crash, malfunction, synthesize, blow, drop like flies, go down, have, pass away, chemistry, pass, misfunction, go to pieces, act, misfire, dissociate, drop dead, choke, snuff it, perish, change integrity, alter, decease, blow out, botanise, conk, parse, modify, go over, pop off, burn out, separate, bust, exit, kick the bucket, expire, fall apart, botanize, fall over, dissolve, get



Copyright © 2019 Free-Translator.com