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”.

  • Madan says:

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

  • kitty says:

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

  • rizzy says:

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

  • tranle says:

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

  • Jamal says:

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

  • maryfrances says:

    this is interesting, please more vocabs

  • D.HAI says:

    Well, we need more and more lesson like it.

  • ipam says:

    Really good lesson for me

  • shzul says:

    veru useful,worth it to join the program,tq

  • koky says:

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

  • Muhammad says:

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

  • ziaey says:

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

  • kurian thomas says:

    very lucid and simple explanation. it is very helpful.

  • Mian Ilyas says:

    It is very helpfull
    THANK u

  • udai says:

    thanks, for the insight

  • yoland says:

    American financial system …
    very bad now~

  • susan says:

    Very well and simply explained. Thankyou for that.

  • 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.

  • heba -fahmy says:

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

  • kumar says:

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

  • NAIMA says:

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

  • sastry says:

    very useful to us

  • rica says:

    it’s very helpfull….
    Thank Q

  • saba says:

    ok the information was good.

  • babydoll says:

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

  • Shefali nigam says:

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

  • tarek says:

    Really useful .Thank you

  • joanna says:

    It is very good explaination. thanks you.

  • shazia says:

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

  • Teshome says:

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

  • Muhsin says:

    Keep it up…very educative and interesting.

  • raju says:


  • 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…

  • umair says:

    this was really informative for me.AMAZING

  • 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..

  • rubab says:

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

  • rashmi says:

    very informative

  • mai anh says:

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

  • SREE says:

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

  • Sisca says:

    Thanks for the lesson, I need more

  • hangmc says:

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

  • linda says:

    very good explaination in detail. nice website.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Marie says:

    This program is big helper for me. I learn more vocabulary of daily using

  • Marie says:

    This program is very helpfull,more vocabulary help you speak more easily

  • helen says:

    this program is very interesting because somebody learn a lot of vocabulary

  • mojtaba says:

    beautiful way for teach 3 vocabulary in 1 phrase.

  • manoj says:

    it is good and useful to engg students


    i need more vocabulary of dialy use ….

    thank you for teaching

  • ali says:

    It is very nice and up to date vocabulary.

  • shri says:

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

  • Echo Chung says:


  • Simachew Demissie says:

    A good phrase to teach a phrase.

  • archana says:

    good one …can help enriching vocabulary

  • pratibha says:

    really very knowledg promoting, i appreciat.

  • Wutang says:

    NICE… and educational….

  • >