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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








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"Break down" Quotes from Famous Books



... them in order that the conflict might take place without transgressing the strictest rules of Kshattriya morality. Follow Him as He and Arjuna and his brother enter into the city of the king. They will not come by the open gate, that is the pathway of the friend. They break down a portion of the wall as a sign that they come as foes. They will not go undecorated; and challenged why they wore flowers and sandal, the answer is that they come for the celebration of a triumph, the fulfilling of a vow. Offered ...
— Avataras • Annie Besant

... 'You see, it may break down entirely,' remarked young Brainerd, 'and then we can load it on the wagon and ...
— The Huge Hunter - Or, the Steam Man of the Prairies • Edward S. Ellis

... rest of the evening we were both taciturn and distant towards each other. In vain Mrs. Ashleigh kindly sought to break down our mutual reserve. I felt that I had the right to be resentful, and I clung to that right the more because Lilian made no attempt at reconciliation. This, too, was wholly unlike herself, for her temper was ordinarily sweet,—sweet ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... age. Thou hast taken all of them. Wife, and son, and mill, and grandson, and my brother who robbed me—the whole of it may have been for my good, but I have got no good out of it. Show me the way for a little time, O Lord, to make the best of it; and teach me to bear it like a man, and not break down at this time of life. Thou knowest what is right. ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... the last three or four lectures must be incorrect, because I have been attempting to prove that they do exist, and I take it that there is abundant evidence that they do exist; so far, therefore, the hypothesis does not break down. ...
— Lectures and Essays • T.H. Huxley

... laboratory at Sacrow. The "exception which proves the rule" is something never heard of in the domain of logical science. Natural law knows no exceptions. So the synthesis of a single organic compound sufficed at a blow to break down the chemical barrier which the imagination of the fathers of the science had erected between animate and inanimate nature. Thenceforth the philosophical chemist would regard the plant and animal organisms as chemical laboratories in which conditions are peculiarly favorable for building up complex ...
— A History of Science, Volume 4(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... favoring shelter of the irrigation company's power he might arise from both. For at moments the acute Mexican sensed the inevitable victory of the new forces at work; this, one of the last strong-holds of old time cattle and sheep interests, would break down and yield to ...
— In the Shadow of the Hills • George C. Shedd

... qualifications, which would cease 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 ...
— Essays on Various Subjects - Principally Designed for Young Ladies • Hannah More

... 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 in this ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... Great Britain as in Ireland, and the sooner the better. The movement about the sewerage rates in London," he added, "is the first symptom of the land war in London. It is the thin edge of the wedge to break down landlordism ...
— Ireland Under Coercion (2nd ed.) (2 of 2) (1888) • William Henry Hurlbert

... being passed. On and on, over the never-ending plain, often despairing, and with the oxen groaning, empty as the wagon was, for the sun flashed and was reflected up with blinding force, and there were moments when Dyke grew giddy, and felt as if he must break down. ...
— Diamond Dyke - The Lone Farm on the Veldt - Story of South African Adventure • George Manville Fenn

... allow her to break down. She had all along had to bear up the spirits of Sir Philip and Lady Archfield, and though she had struggled for composure, the finding that she had in him a comforter and support set the pent-up tears flowing fast, ...
— A Reputed Changeling • Charlotte M. Yonge

... I loathe all except my own, and feel they have no right to exist. Indeed, none have quite the individuality they used to have when they were a new breed of beasts; don't you find it so? Nothing ever happens to the good ones. They never break down and sob by the roadside and have to be petted and comforted by their mothers and fathers, as in the dear dead days of long ago. Of course we hated to have them break down then, and longed for the time when they should be improved ...
— The Lightning Conductor Discovers America • C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel)

... Deuteronomy, God commanded the children of Israel to "destroy the images," "break down" the altars and "burn the graven images" of the Gods of the heathen. This was smashing. Also said to them: "If you do not drive them out they shall be thorns in your sides." God gave them power and ability to do this, then he required them ...
— The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation • Carry A. Nation

... with seeming carelessness, but really with deliberate intent. For the glum silence of a conch is a hard thing for any outsider to break down. He recalled what Claire had said of the Caesars' fierce distaste for the word "conch." Also, throughout the South, "clay-eater," has ever been a ...
— Black Caesar's Clan • Albert Payson Terhune

... wife and break down your children," said Mr. Eldridge. "Women and children can't stand it. Now there's that man they were speaking of; he lived down my way. He sued a poor, shiftless fellow that had come from Pennsylvania ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 9 • Various

... Siegfried, who stands nearest, receives her as she totters, near to falling. As she lies for a moment in the well-known arms, it seems impossible, beyond everything impossible, that his unimaginable purpose should not break down, that he should not be forced to drop this incomprehensible feint of strangeness. But her dying eyes searching the face close to them discover in it no glimmer of feeling. Her heart-broken murmur: "Siegfried.... ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... seems to break down under the keen criticism to which it has been subjected, yet astronomers have not relinquished the idea that our solar system has probably had its origin from a nebulous mass. But the apparent failure of the Laplacian theory is emphasised by the fact, that ...
— Astronomy of To-day - A Popular Introduction in Non-Technical Language • Cecil G. Dolmage

... too, at the turn affairs had taken, for he feared Mrs. Spencer would break down under the nervous strain, if she had to bear her ...
— Marjorie's New Friend • Carolyn Wells

... possession of great powers of self-control by the Sultan and his advisers, in face of the initial success of the Russians; and unless that self-control was proof against panic, the design could not but break down at the crucial point. Signs are not wanting that in the suggestions here tentatively offered, we find a key that unlocks the riddle of ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... her pale and gentle face, of her dejected looks and timid caresses, was imprinted on his heart for ever; but he vaguely understood her position in the house; he felt that between him and her there existed a barrier which she dared not and could not break down. He was shy of his father, and, indeed, Ivan Petrovitch on his side never caressed him; his grandfather sometimes patted him on the head and gave him his hand to kiss, but he thought him and called him a little fool. After the death of Malanya Sergyevna, his aunt finally got him under her control. ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... this time perceived that she was not destined on this occasion to gain any great victory. She, however, was angry as well as the doctor. It was not the man's vehemence that provoked her so much as his evident determination to break down the prestige of her rank, and place her on a footing in no respect superior to his own. He had never before been so audaciously arrogant; and, as she moved towards the door, she determined in her wrath that she would never again have confidential intercourse ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... was. She was a Thomson, 'n' all the Thomsons was scairt at their own shadders. Ivory Strout rid right behind the hearse, 'n' he says his heart was in his mouth the hull durin' time for fear 't would break down. He didn't git much comfort out the occasion, I guess! Wa' n't he mad he hed to ride in the same buggy with his mother-in-law! The minister planned it all out, 'n' wrote down the order o' the mourners, 'n' passeled him out with old Mis' ...
— Timothy's Quest - A Story for Anybody, Young or Old, Who Cares to Read It • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... organizations again. Guard-duty injures them more than whites, apparently; and double-quick movements, in choking dust, set them coughing badly. But then it is to be remembered that this is their sickly season, from January to March, and that their healthy season will come in summer, when the whites break down. Still my conviction of the physical superiority of more highly civilized races is strengthened on the whole, not weakened, by observing them. As to availability for military drill and duty in other respects, the only question I ever hear debated among the officers is, whether they are equal or ...
— Army Life in a Black Regiment • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... 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 ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... done, cookie, and Mr Mark knows as well as as I do that he'd break down before we had gone a couple of score yards. Wish I'd got my waggon here, and the span of oxen. That would just suit ...
— Dead Man's Land - Being the Voyage to Zimbambangwe of certain and uncertain • George Manville Fenn

... built up. These forms of human association, the family, the community, the state, have been built up very slowly through centuries of human strife and suffering; they represent the experience of the race as to the best means of adjusting human relationships. Break down an essential feature of the structure of human society, as was done when American settlers abandoned community life, and men are compelled to find new methods of meeting their common needs and of maintaining standards of conduct essential for their common ...
— The Farmer and His Community • Dwight Sanderson

... were in an agony of fear lest poor Anne should break down, and so distress them all except the unkind Miriam. However, they need not have troubled themselves. Anne fixed her eyes on the far wall of the dining room and commenced to recite "The Raven" in a clear, musical voice that deepened as she repeated ...
— Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School - The Merry Doings of the Oakdale Freshmen Girls • Jessie Graham Flower

... cannon began to break down the stone ramparts; many hundred boats forming a river flotilla covered the Danube, so as to cut off all communication between the fortress and Hungary. During this time Hunyady's son Ladislaus and his brother-in-law Michael Szilagyi were ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... "The electrodes 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

... Genii, and, after marching for several days, pitched his tent at the foot of Mount Asprus, and held a great revel all the night long with his chiefs. The next morning he said, "Choose me two thousand men who will break down the gates of Mazanderan with their clubs. And take care that when you have taken the city you spare neither young nor old, for I will rid the world of these magicians." They did as the King commanded, and in a short space of time the city, which was before the richest and ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) • Various

... and instructions. Any attempt to coerce the President to yield his sanction to measures which he can not approve would be a violation of the spirit of the Constitution, palpable and flagrant, and if successful would break down the independence of the executive department and make the President, elected by the people and clothed by the Constitution with power to defend their rights, the mere instrument of a majority of Congress. A surrender on his part of the powers with which the Constitution ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Polk - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 4: James Knox Polk • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... a readiness to weep afresh, which steadied Wee Willie Winkie, who had been brought up to believe that tears were the depth of unmanliness. Still, when one is as great a sinner as Wee Willie Winkie, even a man may be permitted to break down. ...
— The Short-story • William Patterson Atkinson

... become possessed? Although she might be preserved from the dreadful and dreaded doom of marrying a man she could neither regard nor respect, it was equally certain that an eternal barrier existed between her and the only one she loved—a barrier which not even the power of Cromwell could break down or remove. It has been said, and said truly, that there are few things reason can discover with so much certainty and ease as its own deficiency. Constantia was a reasoning being, and she appeared ever placid in situations where her fine mind was overwhelmed by a painful train of circumstances ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... unnumbered objects of thought which civilization constantly brings before the mind, without giving any opportunity for a mastery of many of them; the fierce rivalries of interest, and the enervating habits of body which are constantly being formed or perpetuated—all alike and together tend to break down an acquired power of Attention. It is said that Alexander Hamilton used to go through the demonstrations of Euclid's Geometry before the commencement of each Session of the early Congress. For what purpose? In order to be able to make use of geometrical knowledge ...
— Assimilative Memory - or, How to Attend and Never Forget • Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)

... the ground beneath move enemies of a different kind, both biped and quadruped. Fowlers with their guns and long poles; farmers with waggons to carry off the dead birds; and even droves of hogs to devour them. Trees fall under the axe, and huge branches break down by the weight of the birds themselves, killing numbers in their descent. Torches are used—for it is usually a night scene, after the return of the birds from feeding,— pots of burning sulphur, and other engines ...
— The Hunters' Feast - Conversations Around the Camp Fire • Mayne Reid

... could be. That is not the style of Jesus. The soul of the thing, the great central meaning, the real analogy is his concern. Seriousness in observation, seriousness in reflection, is what he teaches. Men and women break down for want of thinking things out. Many things become possible to those who think seriously, as he did—and, so to speak, without ...
— The Jesus of History • T. R. Glover

... that was only followed with great difficulty, and now it was that Pen's wounded leg began to give him such intense pain that there were moments when he felt that he must break down. ...
— !Tention - A Story of Boy-Life during the Peninsular War • George Manville Fenn

... wealth, until civilisation had multiplied the forms of portable property, that thieving became a liberal and an elegant profession. True, in pastoral society, the lawless man was eager to lift cattle, to break down the barrier between robbery and warfare. But the contrast is as sharp between the savagery of the ancient reiver and the polished performance of Captain Hind as between the daub of the pavement and ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... same," she said. "You know how unhappy I am; it was foolish of me to break down here, but I could not help it. Besides, there is another thing—I ...
— What Dreams May Come • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... warrant to apprehend her; and had her brought to the Salem jail, and committed as a witch. They never struck at friends, but were sure to punish all who were suspected to disapprove of the proceedings. How long Mrs. Dolliver remained in prison we are not informed. But it was impossible to break down the influence or independence of Mr. Higginson. It is not improbable that he believed in witchcraft, with all the other divines of his day; but he feared not to bear testimony to personal worth, and could ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... and evening the fight continued. In vain the mob endeavoured to break down the massive iron bars of the windows, and batter in the doors. Although many of the defenders were wounded, and several killed; by the fire from the windows of the neighbouring houses, and from the road; their steady fire, at the points most hotly attacked, drove ...
— With Kitchener in the Soudan - A Story of Atbara and Omdurman • G. A. Henty

... of herself in the morning, she too was equally puzzled. For naturally she was not so confident as she pretended, although not until her hour came for rest and after she had actually tumbled into bed did she break down. Then Esther and Sylvia Wharton, who in some strange, quiet fashion seemed a comfort to everyone to-night, had insisted that they ...
— The Camp Fire Girls at Sunrise Hill • Margaret Vandercook

... astounding. Still, what is all this to me? It is nothing. It does not concern me. The speech is made, and there an end. I did break down for a moment, and in a rather uncomfortable place, since I had led up to those statistics with some grandeur; the hiatus was pleasanter to the House and the galleries than it was to me. But it is no matter now. A week has passed; the jests ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... indictments,' replied Gorman. 'I'd break down the confederacy by spies; I'd seize the fellows I knew to be guilty, and ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... softest-hearted; and it occurred to her for the first time, as she gave a frightened look towards the Curate, that he was like her favourite younger brother, who had died ever so many years ago—a thought which, for the first time, made her doubtful of her testimony, and disposed to break down in her evidence. ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... time Mr. Livingstone became convinced that Bibles and preaching were not all that was necessary. Civilization must accompany Christianization; and commerce was essential to civilization; for commerce, more speedily than any thing else, would break down the isolation of the tribes, by making them mutually dependent upon and serviceable to ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... three hours or more two tablespoonfuls of oatmeal in one quart of water. Reduce liquid to one pint and strain. The long boiling is necessary to break down the cell walls and to make the gruel easy of digestion by ...
— The Community Cook Book • Anonymous

... no doubt, to break down some of these popular distinctions. Just as the zoologist sometimes groups together varieties of animals which the unscientific eye would never think of connecting, so the psychologist may analyze mental operations which appear widely dissimilar to the popular mind, and ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... this time he had been completely idle—at any rate, as far as the law was concerned—since the day of his great break down on the receipt of Miss Waddington's letter. He still kept his Temple chambers, and when the day came round in October, he made another annual payment to Mr. Die. On that occasion Mr. Die had spoken rather seriously to him; but up to that time his period of idleness had mainly been the period ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... leaving the arrangement to itself. Under these conditions, the molecules of the compound would be constantly bombarded by a vast number of electrons shot forth at enormous velocities from the emanation. The notion was that the molecules of the compound would break down under the bombardment, and that the atoms so produced might be knocked into simpler groups of particles—in other words, changed into other atoms—by the terrific, silent shocks of the electrons fired at them incessantly by the disintegrating emanation. Sir ...
— The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry • M. M. Pattison Muir

... the governess, but necessarily persevered in, for Maria loved music, and had just voice and ear sufficient to render this single accomplishment not hopeless, but a certain want of power of sustained effort made her always break down at the moment she seemed to be doing best. Former governesses had lost patience, but Miss Fennimore had early given up the case, and never scolded her for her failures; she made her attempt less, and ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... lips together, and the brighter the sunshine the darker grew the cloud on his brow. His cheeks had fallen in more and more, and at the slightest exertion the sweat poured down his thin face. He looked ready to break down, and his eyes glowed with ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... has been such a grind! The devil himself would allow a man to brag a little after such a crucifixion! And indeed I'm only bragging for a change before I return to the darned thing lying waiting for me on p. 88, where I last broke down. I break down at every paragraph, I may observe; and lie here and sweat, till I can get one sentence wrung out after another. Strange doom; after having worked so easily for so long! Did ever anybody see such a story of ...
— Vailima Letters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... but he might have seen that he was trying her too far, and that she would break down all at once. The long strain of the whole evening; his strange, unnatural mood; her struggle against wretchedness—all were too much for her to bear. She tried to speak, and, failing, fought for strength, sobbed thrice, ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... the same to-day that it was a thousand years ago; the same in the tropics and in the colder climes of the north; the power of passion in the heart of man. It was indeed a doctrine of fire, and its burden was the inalienable right of passion to sweep away every obstacle, to break down every barrier of law and custom, of oath and pledge, which stood ...
— The Northern Light • E. Werner

... and unwrinkled. Harry thought anew as he rode up, what a magnificent figure he was. He was the only great man he ever saw who really looked his greatness. Nothing could stir that calm. Nothing could break down that loftiness of manner. Harry was destined to feel then, as he felt many times afterward, that without him the South had never a chance. And the choking came in his throat again, as he thought ...
— The Shades of the Wilderness • Joseph A. Altsheler

... the Chapel exercises. After these exercises were over at ten o'clock he made an inspection on foot of various parts of the buildings and grounds before going to bed. By just such excessive overwork did he constantly undermine and finally break down his almost superhuman strength and powers of endurance. This he did with an obstinate persistence in spite of wise and increasingly urgent warnings from physicians, friends, and associates. Where his own health was concerned he obdurately refused to listen to reason. It would almost ...
— Booker T. Washington - Builder of a Civilization • Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe

... felt that the mixed bloods who could pass for whites ought to organize and cultivate unswerving devotion to the Negro race. According to her plan the mixed bloods thus taught should be sent into the life of the white people to work quietly year after year to break down the Southern white man's idea of the Negro's rights. She felt that the mixed bloods should lay hold of every center of power that could be reached. She set for herself the task of controlling the pulpit, the social circle and the politics of Almaville and eventually of the whole South and the ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... owe his life to me," and he wrote the thought as it were in letters of fire on the walls of Adam's room. On the fifteenth day Clementine was forced to give up the nursing, lest she should utterly break down. Paz was unwearied. At last, towards the end of August, Bianchon, the family physician, told Clementine that Adam was out ...
— Paz - (La Fausse Maitresse) • Honore de Balzac

... bitterest leader of their party, to office as Secretary of State at the close of 1706. But with the entry of Sunderland into office the system of political balance which the Duke had maintained till now began at once to break down. Constitutionally, Marlborough's was the last attempt to govern England on other terms than those of party government, and the union of parties to which he had clung ever since his severance from the extreme Tories became every day more impossible as the growing opposition of the ...
— History of the English People, Volume VII (of 8) - The Revolution, 1683-1760; Modern England, 1760-1767 • John Richard Green

... old tumbril-shaped city machine, With a Lord Mayor so fat that he made the coach lean; Lord Waithman was scarcely a brighter man; The wits said the old groaning wagon of state, Which for ages had carried Lord Mayors of such weight, To-day would break down ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 400, November 21, 1829 • Various

... all the more effectively if you contrive to break down. That would conciliate them at once; for it would be evident proof ...
— Nicky-Nan, Reservist • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... much more profitable to grow than a mere collection of varieties. Many varieties are prone to overbear, and trees of large size have produced enormous crops of fruit, whereas young trees frequently break down under the weight of their crop. The usual plan is to plant a few varieties that ripen in succession, so as to extend the season over as long a period as possible, and not to cause a glutted market at any one time. Early fruits particularly are not noted for their ...
— Fruits of Queensland • Albert Benson

... safe in their arms! Other boys were out in that tumbling hell, driving through the night in a floating coffin, tossing from white cap to white cap, dizzily plunging into the yawning trough, while decks groaned beneath their feet, and gray hills of water curled above to break down upon them ...
— Mayflower (Flor de mayo) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... break down frequently; because this spectacle affords an innocent diversion to many whose ...
— Mr. Punch Awheel - The Humours of Motoring and Cycling • J. A. Hammerton

... drive north of the Aisne won important positions including Malmaison fort. The Germans retreated from the Chemin de Dames, north of the Aisne, November 2. Between November 22 and December 13 occurred the Battle of Cambrai in which the British employed "tanks" to break down the wire entanglements instead of the usual artillery preparations. Bourlon Wood dominating Cambrai was taken November 26. A surprise counterattack by the Germans December 2, compelled the British to give up one-fourth ...
— History of the American Negro in the Great World War • W. Allison Sweeney

... to you!" Her eyes opened wide in sympathy. "And you were so ill," she exclaimed, "and the fever is so likely to return. I do not see how it is possible for you to work at night at El Morro and by day on the light-house and not break down. We have no right to ...
— The White Mice • Richard Harding Davis

... that naught hindereth us from rising against him and taking the Kingship from him but his father's goodness to us and that which he required from us of oaths and engagements. However, to-morrow, we will all, to the last of us, assemble here with our arms and break down the gate of the citadel[FN153]; and if he come forth to us and do that which we wish, no harm is yet done[FN154], else we will go in to him and slay him and put the Kingdom in the hand of other than he." So the Wazir Shimas went in to him and said, "O King, that grovellest in thy gusts and ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 9 • Richard F. Burton

... completing Dumont's) tended, indeed, to show 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 ...
— Evolution in Modern Thought • Ernst Haeckel

... manufacture defectives, and foster their fertility. The strain and stress of modern competition excite an anxiety and nervous tension under which many break down, and much of the insanity that exists to-day is attributable to nervous strain ...
— The Fertility of the Unfit • William Allan Chapple

... get to the old tannery before we break down!" whispered Tom, in short catches between breaths. "I can't stand ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... lasted eight months. During this time I averaged one lecture per day. At times, for the space of an entire week, I did not get as much sleep as I needed in one night, and the work I did in those eight months was enough to break down the strongest and healthiest constitution. I spoke in all the more notable cities and towns of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. With regard to my success, I will let the Eastern press speak for me. It is ...
— Fifteen Years in Hell • Luther Benson

... is the type, the typical haunted house, from which, if narratives vary much, they are apt to break down under cross- examination? ...
— Cock Lane and Common-Sense • Andrew Lang

... 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 fires ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... thoughts. Had I been by myself, or with male companions only, I should not have cared so much; but my mind was troubled by the idea of what might be dear Lily's fate, and that of Aunt Hannah, should we be attacked, or should our cattle break down and we ...
— Afar in the Forest • W.H.G. Kingston

... if the truth be told. He did not even contemplate inflicting physical injury on Horace Gower. That would have been absurd. But he wanted to hurt him, to make him squirm, to heap trouble on the man and watch him break down under the load. And he did not see how he possibly could. Gower was too well fortified. Four years of war experience, which likewise embraced a considerable social experience, had amply shown Jack MacRae the subtle ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... 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

... wakeful dogs, and to see and hear with the utmost keenness; amid the many changes of water and also of food, of summer heat and winter cold, which they will have to endure when on a campaign, they must not be liable to break down in health. ...
— The Republic • Plato

... of rejoicing, for by the addition of our rhinoceros horns, our waggons were piled up to the very top; and my uncle expressed some apprehension that the axles might break down with the weight of the unusual load before we arrived ...
— Adventures in Africa - By an African Trader • W.H.G. Kingston

... glass doors, a train would rush by without stopping, with a shower of hot cinders and the roar of escaping steam. Thereupon a tempest of shouts and stamping would arise in the station, and, soaring above all the rest, the shrill treble of M. Chebe, shrieking in his sea-gull's voice: "Break down the doors! break down the doors!"—a thing that the little man would have taken good care not to do himself, as he had an abject fear of gendarmes. In a moment the storm would abate. The tired women, their hair disarranged by the wind, would fall ...
— Fromont and Risler, Complete • Alphonse Daudet

... the amount that cart carried, it was a perpetual mystery to Lois. Every day since she and the cart went into partnership, she had gone into town with a dead certainty in the minds of lookers-on that it would break down in five minutes, and a triumphant faith in hers in its unlimited endurance. "This cart 'll be right side up fur years to come," she would assert, shaking her head. "It 's got no more notion o' givin' up than me nor ...
— Margret Howth, A Story of To-day • Rebecca Harding Davis

... wormwood and drug them with poison; He will suddenly let fall on them anguish and terrors; He will take His fan and winnow them out in the gates of the land and as the passing chaff strew them on the wind of the desert; the garden-land withers to wilderness and its cities break down at His presence and before His fierce anger; He will make Jerusalem heaps and cast out the people before His face. He will give them to be tossed among the nations for a consternation, a reproach and a proverb, for a taunt and a curse, ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith

... live forces of the nation to cheerful activity, and so employs them for national ends that the State revenue suffices to meet the admitted political demands. He can only attain this purpose if he works in harmony with the Ministers for Commerce, Agriculture, Industries, and Colonies, in order to break down the restrictions which cramp the enterprise and energy of the individual, to make all dead values remunerative, and to create favourable conditions for profitable business. A great impulse must thrill the whole productive and financial circles of the State, if ...
— Germany and the Next War • Friedrich von Bernhardi

... admiration of a woman for a man of altruistic aims; but his hatred of David, of what David was, and of his irrefutable claims, reacted on her. Perverseness and his unhealthy belief that he would master her in the end, that she would one day break down and come to him, willing to take his view in all things, and to be his slave—all this drove him farther and farther on ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... Canada, Texas.—In my opinion the time has arrived to essentially break down the barriers of form between prose and poetry. I say the latter is henceforth to win and maintain its character regardless of rhyme, and the measurement-rules of iambic, spondee, dactyl, &c., and that even if rhyme and ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... associating the Educational Service much more closely with what are now regarded as the higher branches of the public service in India. No Englishmen are in closer touch with the realities of Indian life than Indian civilians, and means must be found to break down the wall which now rigidly separates the Educational Service from the Civil Service. Opportunities might usefully be given to young Englishmen when they first join the Educational Service in India to acquire a ...
— Indian Unrest • Valentine Chirol

... must be utterly vapid and miserable, unless there be a hearty agreement upon the grounds and articles of faith, such as is only possible for those who are of one Church, or at all events of one denomination. Doubtless on this very account efforts have been made, and efforts will be made, to break down the Church Training College system, or to erect something on broader principles which shall gradually extinguish it; but on all grounds we trust that these efforts may fail, and that at all events no change may be introduced which ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... the morning of the 9th, under circumstances not the most promising for the harmony of our journey. We had engaged horses and baggage-mules from the capidji, or chief of the muleteers, and in order to be certain of having animals that would not break down on the way, made a particular selection from a number that were brought us. When about leaving the city, however, we discovered that one of the horses had been changed. Signor di Picciotto, who accompanied us past the Custom-House barriers, immediately dispatched ...
— The Lands of the Saracen - Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain • Bayard Taylor

... the softening influence of that powerful Spirit, which was shed abroad into the world to turn the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to break down the strongholds of unrighteousness, and to teach man that he is by nature the child of wrath and victim of sin, and that in his unregenerated nature his whole mind is at enmity with God and his ...
— Canadian Crusoes - A Tale of The Rice Lake Plains • Catharine Parr Traill

... Well, to cut it short, she wanted me to take her down the coast a bit to where she could join Marion. She said she'd been shook by his friends, followed by spies—and, blame my skin, Mollie, ef that proud woman didn't break down and CRY like a baby. Now, Mollie, what got ME in all this, was that them Chivalry folks—ez was always jawin' about their 'Southern dames' and their 'Ladye fairs,' and always runnin' that kind of bilge water outer their scuppers ...
— Sally Dows and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... good about it, Stephen—very. I was wondering whether"—Peter Knott looked up at Ringsmith—"you'd feel like giving me another little cheque. You know these ambulances break down dreadfully fast. Fresh ones are always wanted, and ...
— War-time Silhouettes • Stephen Hudson

... its forms was bitterly opposed by men of a conservative cast of mind. It was denounced by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge as "nothing less than a complete revolution in the fabric of our government and in the fundamental principles upon which that government rests." In his opinion, it promised to break down the representative principle and "undermine and overthrow the bulwarks of ordered liberty and individual freedom." Mr. Taft shared Mr. Lodge's views and spoke of direct government with scorn. "Votes," he exclaimed, ...
— History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard

... stern-looking old man, and begging him to listen and believe, but Uncle Josiah sat there with the most uncompromising of expressions on his face, and Don dared not speak. He dared not trust himself for very shame, as the incident had so upset him, that he felt sure that he must break down and cry like a child if he ...
— The Adventures of Don Lavington - Nolens Volens • George Manville Fenn

... said, 'As long as she has anyone to care for, she will never break down.' Luckily, I was entirely knocked up for a few days just at first; and coming home we had a poor young woman on board very ill, and Emily ...
— Countess Kate • Charlotte M. Yonge

... 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 ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... of another world among the villagers, which made them feel uncomfortable. They recognized that his life was very different from their own, and while they talked to him when he spoke to them, and were agreeable enough to him, they felt awed and could not break down the natural reserve they always had towards people of another station of life. He was perhaps a little too thoughtless and impulsive, though generous-hearted enough. He drifted into things, rather than shaped them to his own ideas, and was ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... in the world for people to dictate modes of life to us; the tyrant and the despot are not only out of date—they are out of fashion, which is a far more disabling thing! There is of course a type of person in the world who loves to call himself robust and even virile—heaven help us to break down that bestial ideal of manhood!—who is of the stuff that all bullies have been made since the world began, a compound of courage, stupidity, and complacency; to whom the word 'living' has no meaning, unless it implies the disturbing and disquieting of other people. We are gradually putting him ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... about it, they can't crowd you," answered Dick. And that was the one advantage the "reserved seats" afforded. On the common seats the spectators were crowded just as closely as possible, until the seats threatened to break down with ...
— The Rover Boys on the River - The Search for the Missing Houseboat • Arthur Winfield

... hold on at this pace for more than a very few minutes,' Reuben cried. 'If I break down, do ye go on, for ye must remember that they are upon your track and not mine. They have found cause for suspicion of the two strangers of the inn, but none ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... 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 and free to enter ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... knew it to be one of those minutes when a woman has to be strong for herself and for the man, too, even though she break down afterward. The necessity of coming to an understanding with him, once for all, impelled her to the economy of her forces, while the nervous snapping of his fortitude had given her an opportunity she ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... by Dr. Henry Maudsley, in an article entitled, "The Physical Basis of Mind"—an article which seems to follow Mr. Spencer very closely—would break down all moral responsibility. His theory that true character depends upon what he calls the reflex action of the nerve-cells; that acts of reason or conscience which have been put forth so many times that, in ...
— Oriental Religions and Christianity • Frank F. Ellinwood

... golden; but the fruit was ripe and heavy, ready at all points to fall. In the still October air the husks above our heads would loosen, and the brown nuts rustle through the foliage, and with a dull short thud, like drops of thunder-rain, break down upon the sod. At the foot of this rich forest, wedged in between huge buttresses, we found Pontremoli, and changed our horses here for the last time. It was Sunday, and the little town was alive with country-folk; tall stalwart fellows wearing peacock's feathers in their black ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds

... full benefit of civilization and Christianity, which (Lambkin points out) has been largely the cause of the spread of the disease by breaking down social customs and emancipating the women. Christianity is powerful enough to break down the old morality, but not powerful enough to build up a new morality (British Medical Journal, October 3, ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... 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 ...
— The Education of American Girls • Anna Callender Brackett

... 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 ...
— Creative Chemistry - Descriptive of Recent Achievements in the Chemical Industries • Edwin E. Slosson

... the sad reality comes home to us, we blush for a race which can stoop to such an abject lot. At length, indeed, we see the tyrant humbled, stripped of power, but stripped by those who, in the main, are not unwilling to play the despot on a narrower scale, and to break down the spirit of nations under the same ...
— Higher Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... thinks of that joke and believes confidently that no one has ever before thought of this application of it. So they all pull it on him. For the first few months our governors stand it pretty well, but after that they begin to break down. They feel they ought to smile, but they can't. They begin to dread meeting strangers, and to show it in their bearing. When in private life our governor had a very pleasant expression, but like all the others, ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... the ale to mull, 'men are always children, they say, however old; and if ever I heard a thing like this, to set to and make yourself sick, just when the money's failing. Keep a good heart up; you haven't kept a good heart these seventy years, nigh hand, to break down about a pound or two. Here's this Mr. Archer come to lodge, that you disliked so much. Well, now you see it was a clear Providence. Come, let's think upon our mercies. And here is the ale mulling lovely; smell of it; I'll take a drop myself, ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... auto that doesn't break down, Or an angler who catches some fish; Now and then there's a pretty society gown Or a girl that breaks never a dish; There is haply a Croesus who isn't a hoax. Or a jest that's not hoary with age; But there never is one in American jokes Or on the ...
— Tobogganing On Parnassus • Franklin P. Adams

... DETERIORATION OF THE EUROPEAN RACE? To REVERSE all estimates of value—THAT is what they had to do! And to shatter the strong, to spoil great hopes, to cast suspicion on the delight in beauty, to break down everything autonomous, manly, conquering, and imperious—all instincts which are natural to the highest and most successful type of "man"—into uncertainty, distress of conscience, and self-destruction; forsooth, to invert ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... "Ef I stayed she'd hev ter come inter C'ote an' sw'ar either fer me or ergin me—an' like es not, she'd break down an' confess. Anyhow, ef they put her in ther jail-house I reckon ther child would hev ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... to stir her, to break down her courage. "How unfortunate it is that you have no prince to aid in this good work," he taunted. "Such a prince as Radiance, perhaps—he, whom you ran such risks to aid. But he has returned to the Land of Fire with his pale princess and will hardly trouble himself ...
— The Shadow Witch • Gertrude Crownfield

... Felix folded his arms across his eyes and lay perfectly quiet; I think I saw a tear run down the side of his face to his ear, but I won't be sure. That just brought that horrid lump right back into my throat, but I was determined I wouldn't break down again; so I got up, and taking a pillow from the bed, brought it over to slip under Fee's head,—the floor ...
— We Ten - Or, The Story of the Roses • Lyda Farrington Kraus

... to pull out his finger; he was so frightened that he felt as if he must run for ever. But that minute he remembered how much depended on him; if he pulled out his finger, the water would surely make the hole bigger, and at last break down the dike, and the sea would come in on all the land and houses. He set his teeth, and stuck ...
— How to Tell Stories to Children - And Some Stories to Tell • Sara Cone Bryant

... solitude. I feel that you've promised to let me come here and model you really against your will; don't deny it, Morgan—your face spoke only too plainly. I should be standing here and talking to you, but you would be as solitary as if I had never come. I want to break down that stupid barrier between us; I want you to believe in me, to trust me and to ...
— Cleo The Magnificent - The Muse of the Real • Louis Zangwill

... packed with an excited crowd of men and women, fear, anger, resentment written in their faces. Massed before the door of the office, a score of men were reaching over one another's shoulders in an effort to break down the closed portal. On the outskirts of the crowd, an excited citizen was haranguing ...
— The Substitute Prisoner • Max Marcin

... at the root; he liveth on the tree! He doth not stoop to feed on that which he treadeth under foot! Does the hawk look for the musketoe? His eye is too big. He can see a bird. Go—when the deer have been killed the Wampanoags will break down the fence with their own hands. The arm of a hungry man is strong. A cunning Pale-face hath made that fence—it shutteth out the colt, and it shutteth in the Indian But the mind of a warrior is too big; it will not be kept at ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... have your neighbors one after another break down your fences, and turn their cattle into your corn-fields, cut down your fruit and ornamental trees, set your house or barn on fire, and threaten you with poverty and slavery? If you would not have your neighbor do thus to you, provided he had the power, then how can you, by preparing ...
— Select Temperance Tracts • American Tract Society

... recognize the use and beauty of unity. Let us be as one, and then, like the brave and faithful Joshua, we shall be able to break down ...
— The Right Knock - A Story • Helen Van-Anderson

... fled from it, and had to return, and became its bounden slave, and dreamed of it, and grovelled before it, and prayed, and raved, and rolled; and how I forgot to make provision on the west side for the contraction and expansion of the gold in the colder weather and the heats of summer, and had to break down nine months' work, and how I cursed Thee, how I cursed Thee; and how the lake of wine evaporated faster than the conduits replenished it, and the three journeys which I had to take to Constantinople for shiploads of wine, and my frothing ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... assault at the hole where the bones and feathers had been brought out; and while Addison and I went to block up the entrance to the other two holes with stones, the Old Squire threw off his coat, and seizing the crowbar, commenced to break down the rooty ground over the hole, while Thomas and Halse cleared it away with their shovels. We worked by turns, or all together, as opportunity offered. It was no light task for a warm June afternoon, and we were soon perspiring freely. Gradually we removed the top of the ...
— When Life Was Young - At the Old Farm in Maine • C. A. Stephens

... poor Bob Edmeston, who has got to pull through a deal of drift-wood before he gets into clear water, break down completely in the very beginning of his acquaintance with one of the nicest girls I know, because he would not tell the truth, or did not. I was standing right behind them, listening to Dr. Ollapod, who was explaining ...
— How To Do It • Edward Everett Hale

... and threatened to break down the door; but apparently thought better of it, and walked uneasily into the sitting-room. Cassy perceived that her shaft had struck home; and, from that hour, with the most exquisite address, she never ceased to continue the train ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... was called into the witness-box. It was his first appearance before a Committee of the House of Commons, and he well knew what he had to expect. He was aware that the whole force of the opposition was to be directed against him; and if they could break down his evidence, the canal monopoly might yet be upheld for a time. Many years afterwards, when looking back at his position on this trying occasion, he said:—"When I went to Liverpool to plan a line from thence to Manchester, I pledged myself to the directors ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... those very people, that the five wise ones could give them admittance of walking with them in the most pure ways and institutions of the Gospel of Christ, and yet but foolish; nay, they walked with them, or shall walk with them, until the Lord Jesus Christ shall break down from Heaven, and yet be but foolish virgins, and yet but under the law, and so under the curse, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... Dray"; it must be over fifty verses now. I saw a bushman at a country dance start to sing that song; he'd get up to ten or fifteen verses, break down, and start afresh. At last he sat down on his heel to it, in the centre of the clear floor, resting his wrist on his knee, and keeping time with an index finger. It was very funny, but the thing was taken seriously ...
— On the Track • Henry Lawson

... to her father, coming so suddenly, had almost made Tora break down in the midst of her abounding courage. The past came up in vivid pictures where scenes of sorrow were predominant. Her weak, ever-ailing little baby sister had floated quietly across the dark river. The stricken mother sank, and soon followed her child to the ...
— Little Tora, The Swedish Schoolmistress and Other Stories • Mrs. Woods Baker

... needs to break down barriers that discourage U.S. partnerships with international donors and Iraqi participants to promote reconstruction. The ability of the United States to form such partnerships will encourage greater ...
— The Iraq Study Group Report • United States Institute for Peace

... once divided. Terence knocked at the door of one house, and his majors at that of the other. No answer was received but, as they continued to knock with such violence that it seemed as if they were about to break down the doors, these were presently opened. Terence entered. A Spanish gentleman, behind whom stood a number ...
— Under Wellington's Command - A Tale of the Peninsular War • G. A. Henty

... to be something compelling about his manner. It was at once sympathetic and persuasive. Quite evidently he was taking pains to break down the prejudice in her mind which she had already shown ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

... the fortunes of the Indians, or the Chinese in their appropriation of the Pacific coast, it would not have been so advantageous to civilisation, to the progress of humanity. It would have been loss, and a hindrance to the Anglo-Saxon race destined now to rule the world and to break down every barrier and to set up the standard of the Cross everywhere for the glory of the true God. His hand is apparent in it all. He directs the great movements of history for the welfare of mankind, and He controls ...
— By the Golden Gate • Joseph Carey



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