What is “Wall Street meltdown”?

The word “meltdown” is being bandied about a lot in relation to the current Wall Street crisis. What does it mean?

Let’s look at melt first. Melt is a verb: to melt. It means to change from solid to liquid, usually because of heat. So if you put an ice-cube outside in the sun it will melt. The ice will become water. When you light a candle, the solid wax of the candle melts and becomes liquid wax, running down the candle until it cools and solidifies again.

What about meltdown? Meltdown is a noun, with a technical meaning. A meltdown is an accident in a nuclear reactor in which the fuel becomes so hot that the core of the nuclear reactor melts, with potentially extremely serious (catastrophic) consequences.

What about a meltdown in Wall Street? There are no nuclear reactors in Wall Street, so what can it mean?

Wall Street is a street at the south end of Manhattan in New York City, and is home to the New York Stock Exchange and other leading United States financial institutions (major banks etc). When people talk about a “meltdown in Wall Street” they are using the word meltdown figuratively to mean “a catastrophic event, a disastrous collapse of the American financial system”.

  • Wutang says:

    NICE… and educational….

  • pratibha says:

    really very knowledg promoting, i appreciat.

  • archana says:

    good one …can help enriching vocabulary

  • Simachew Demissie says:

    A good phrase to teach a phrase.

  • Echo Chung says:


  • shri says:

    Really, it was informative and usefull.Such things helps the learner for strengthening their vocabulary

  • ali says:

    It is very nice and up to date vocabulary.


    i need more vocabulary of dialy use ….

    thank you for teaching

  • manoj says:

    it is good and useful to engg students

  • mojtaba says:

    beautiful way for teach 3 vocabulary in 1 phrase.

  • helen says:

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  • Marie says:

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  • Marie says:

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  • Najet says:

    Now i know what is the meaning of ‘wall street meltdown’. May i know can i say ‘my current financial now is meltdown’ ? please help me

  • mohammed says:

    This is a very good way to teach vocabulary.I first heard it on BBC program but did not understand what it meant,but now I know is catastrophic and disatrous thing,thanks.

  • linda says:

    very good explaination in detail. nice website.

  • hangmc says:

    Wall street meltdown means a big problem of Americal financal system which is being collapsed.

  • Sisca says:

    Thanks for the lesson, I need more

  • SREE says:

    It is very nice. Can we use it as a idiom???

  • mai anh says:

    at first time I thought meltdown concern with nuclear :(( , alittle bit complicated

  • rashmi says:

    very informative

  • rubab says:

    a very novel way to teach vocabulary . just waiting to use it

  • feza says:

    Thanks for these lessons.
    These are really useful for english learners like me. But it is also frightening because show us there are thousands of expressions that we have to learn. 🙁
    I believe that we can succeed it with you help.
    Thanks again..

  • umair says:

    this was really informative for me.AMAZING

  • Thuy says:

    Thanks a lot. It is the good explaination of vocabulary meaning . I can understand clearly. I learm more vocabulary of English, and learn more about other things, for example: wall street, financial crisis…

  • raju says:


  • Muhsin says:

    Keep it up…very educative and interesting.

  • Teshome says:

    I was assumed meltdown…as “absolutely falling in love”

  • shazia says:

    I have just joined this club.It seems i am going to learn alot.Hello to all learners.Thanx English club.

  • joanna says:

    It is very good explaination. thanks you.

  • tarek says:

    Really useful .Thank you

  • Shefali nigam says:

    Its good to know that how is the meaning of “meltdown ” takes place in different conditions in different way.

  • babydoll says:

    Thanks for the lesson ,you use a simple way to explain the meaning .It was useful for me .

  • saba says:

    ok the information was good.

  • rica says:

    it’s very helpfull….
    Thank Q

  • sastry says:

    very useful to us

  • NAIMA says:

    It’s our theme this trimester: we study ethics in business. I’m going to use it in my class. Thanks

  • kumar says:

    Really , now i understand what is meltdown ,now i can use it different places,,,,,,thank’s

  • heba -fahmy says:

    Thanks for giving us new words inour vocabulary which is very helpful.

  • Janice says:

    As a teacher, I find this to be an extremely useful idea to teach vocab and using current events and I’m sure my students will benefit from it too.

  • susan says:

    Very well and simply explained. Thankyou for that.

  • yoland says:

    American financial system …
    very bad now~

  • udai says:

    thanks, for the insight

  • Mian Ilyas says:

    It is very helpfull
    THANK u

  • kurian thomas says:

    very lucid and simple explanation. it is very helpful.

  • ziaey says:

    Thanx for good and nice text vocabulary.
    it was usefull and very nice way to learn english.

  • Muhammad says:

    Nice and educational article, i will used it for my future lessons. Best Regards, Sir.

  • koky says:

    it’s very advanced way to know the meaning of words

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  • ipam says:

    Really good lesson for me

  • D.HAI says:

    Well, we need more and more lesson like it.

  • maryfrances says:

    this is interesting, please more vocabs

  • Jamal says:

    I think it nice to say that it’s a metaphor

  • tranle says:

    I can learn and remember vocabulary better from the club. thank you very much.

  • rizzy says:

    I can now relate whenever it is being used in conversations. Thanks

  • kitty says:

    this is a clear, simple way to explain a phrase. it makes the phrase easier to understand and remember. Thanks

  • Madan says:

    Nice way to explain. I got the meaning of meltdown absolutely clear in my mind.

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