melt down


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melt down

1. intransitive To melt from a solid to a liquid state. By the time the ceremony was over, the elaborate ice sculpture had melted down into a large puddle.
2. To cause something to melt from a solid to a liquid state. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "melt" and "down." He melts recycled scrap metal down and uses it in his sculptures.
3. Of a nuclear reactor core, to become so hot as to melt through the containment unit. The entire region has been a deserted wasteland ever since the nuclear power plant melted down ten years ago.
4. To go through extreme emotional duress; to have an emotional crisis or break down. More commonly worded as "have a meltdown." He was just trying to juggle too many things at work, and he ended up melting down.
See also: down, melt

melt something down

to cause something frozen to melt; to cause something solid to melt. The rays of the sun melted the candle down to a puddle of wax. The heat melted down the ice.
See also: down, melt

melt down

 
1. Lit. [for something frozen] to melt. The glacier melted down little by little. When the ice on the streets melted down, it was safe to drive again.
2. Fig. [for a nuclear reactor] to become hot enough to melt through its container. The whole system was on the verge of melting down.
See also: down, melt

melt down

v.
1. To melt from a solid into a liquid: As ice cubes melt down, the water level in the glass remains constant.
2. To cause something to melt from a solid into a liquid: The sun melted the snowman down into a puddle. I melted down the ice on the window with a hair dryer.
3. To overheat severely and melt, resulting in the escape of radiation from a nuclear reactor core: The nuclear reactor melted down, and thousands of people had to evacuate the area.
4. Slang To have an emotional breakdown: I was dealing with a lot of stress, and I melted down on the subway when it stopped between stations.
See also: down, melt
References in periodicals archive ?
Talking to reporters, Patel said that economic melt down and global recession has adversely affected India's aviation sector.
The suggestion that Gordon Brown was warned a year ago about a possible bank melt down and did little to prevent it, conflicts with his boast ab out his safe handling of the economy in his 10years as Chancellor.
"If kirksite dies were used, we'd have to melt down the tooling and start over with every alternation.
MELT DOWN: Chief Insp Steve Glover, of West Midlands Police, at the foundry.
First, to meet the C requirement, Heaslip said that sufficient C must be added to the charge to achieve a C level in the bath at melt down of 35-40 points above the aim level for tapping.
While our guide maintains the proper politely barbed tone throughout, and presents a fabulous array of perspectives, we watch his wit melt down in Pollyannaish resignation the minute he confronts the "real thing." The book oddly evaporates rates, a frothy creation as life as a particularly well-written and uncharacteristically inclusive Vogue.
But the Royal Mint warned that it is an offence "to melt down a coin of the realm".
BIG Brother winner Chantelle wants to melt down her engagement ring from Preston - even though it is a family heirloom.
POLICE have joined art experts in a frantic search for a massive pounds 3m Henry Moore bronze sculpture as fears grew that thieves could melt down the "national treasure".