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See also: melt down


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From the verb phrase melt down.


  • Hyphenation: melt‧down


meltdown (countable and uncountable, plural meltdowns)

  1. Severe overheating of the core of a nuclear reactor resulting in the core melting and potentially in radiation escaping.
    Four years have passed since the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, but the grim legacy of the Soviet catastrophe is still unfolding. [1]
  2. A situation being likened to a nuclear meltdown; a crisis.
    • 2001, James Wickham, Perv Spoof Bosses Axe Wrestling (in The Daily Star)
      Channel 4 switchboards went into meltdown this week when viewers called to complain about a Brass Eye programme on child sex.
    Computer engineers were at a loss last night to explain why the Government had been hit by arguably the worst electronic meltdown in the history of Whitehall. [2]
    • 2019 August 30, Jackie Flynn Mogensen, “One Very Bad Habit Is Fueling the Global Recycling Meltdown”, in Mother Jones[3]:
      Not only that, but wishcycling is playing a big role in the current global recycling meltdown.
  3. (figuratively) A tantrum.


Derived terms[edit]


  • Japanese: メルトダウン (merutodaun)


See also[edit]