Skip to main content

Difference between Break something down and Break something up

break something down

1. destroy smth. by reducing to pieces:

  • The old cars were broken down for their metal and parts.

2. cause smth. to be defeated; overcome smth.:

  • The police tried to break down the prisoner’s opposition.

3. cause matter to undergo chemical change:

  • Chemicals in the body break down our food into useful substances.

4. separate smth. into parts; refer smth. to different categories:

  • The figures must be broken down into several lists.

break something up

1. (of ice, etc.) cleave smth. into smaller pieces:

  • Enviro Disposal Service can break up old concrete driveways, then haul away the debris.

2. disband an organization, etc.; cause smth. to cease:

  • The king’s death at once broke up the unity of the Court.