Pronunciation: (brāk'doun"),[key] —n. 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. Cf. nervous breakdown. 3. an analysis or classification of something; division into parts, categories, processes, etc.
4. Chem. a. decomposition.
b. analysis (def. 7).
5. Elect.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.