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Definition of "meltdown" []

  • Severe overheating of a nuclear reactor core, resulting in melting of the core and escape of radiation. (noun)
  • Informal A disastrous or rapidly developing situation likened to the melting of a nuclear reactor core: "After several corporate meltdowns, only two reporters remain in [the] bureau” ( David Fitzpatrick). (noun)
  • Informal An emotional breakdown (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "meltdown" in a sentence
  • "- If the rods get too hot, they can eventually melt, thus the term "meltdown.""
  • "The term "meltdown" does not necessarily mean that the entire nuclear core has turned into a molten glob of metal and ceramic."
  • "Now my brain meltdown is spreading to my virtual super-self."