break down (1)

Meaning: If a machine or a vehicle breaks down, it stops working because of a mechanical problem.

Synonym: conk out (informal)

For example:

  • break down Our bus broke down so we had to get out and wait for another one to come.

  • break down Production has stopped because one of the machines at our factory has broken down.

Quick Quiz:

My car broke down on the way, so I had to

a. drive back home

b. call for a tow truck

c. change a tyre

Phrasal verbs grammar

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Contributor: Matt Errey