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 ?
MELTDOWN: The fake jewellery, which if real would have sold for pounds 1.5m, is melted down for recycling, top, middle and bottom; WARNING: Trading standards officers Frankie Russell, left, and Jodie Allwood, with the jewellery and, left, a bracelet showing the Tiffany name Pictures by PETER REIMANN
"We don't want to see our pennies and nickels melted down so a few individuals can take advantage of the American taxpayer."
This, theoretically, would insure a pure feed-stock that could be mechanically ground up, melted down, or otherwise remade into containers like the ones from which they came.
According to the police, the conman convinced the old woman to hand over cash and her gold jewellery to be melted down and used for the implants.
It seemed a more useful end to them than being melted down for scrap.
According to the report by make-your-own drink firm SodaStream, 10% of all nonrecycled rubbish in the city is plastic bottles that could be melted down and reused.
A MAFIA don has told how Diego Maradona's Golden Ball award was stolen by mobsters - and melted down into gold bars.
Chances are it has already been melted down and sold for scrap, but there is a possibility that it could turn up on the local market, at an antiques fair, car boot sale or auction.
Mr Rose has now seen hundreds of knives melted down. The batch of 729 weapons, handed in to or seized by South Wales Police, were the first to be used.
It is entirely possible the Overhead Railway was melted down and turned into Japanese cars and razor blades and shipped back to the UK.
"Once it is melted down, it is virtually untraceable.
Prosecutor Meirion Davies told Cardiff Crown Court how another customer saw her mother's watch for sale in the window when she thought it had been melted down to make a bracelet.
The NJ Partnership for Mercury-Free Vehicles is seeking sponsors for legislation that would require auto manufacturers to fund the removal of mercury switches from end-of-life cars and trucks before the vehicles are crushed and melted down in steel mills and foundries.
HUNDREDS of guns handed in as part of the firearms amnesty across the West Midlands were destroyed and melted down by police yesterday, marking the end of the successful month-long initiative which saw a total of 1,265 firearms handed in across the region.
He plunges head-on into those nebulous topographies social scientists like to call the "space of flows," casting abstracted labor into relief and putting commodity fetishism before the fun-house mirror: Starling has obtained balsa wood from Ecuador to make a model of a French Farman Mosquito airplane, which was then flown in Australia; built a scale replica of the Wagenfeld Museum--a former prison that also served as production site for egg coddlers, among other things--to be used as a henhouse; melted down and recast (as each other) an Eames Aluminum Group Chair and a Mann Sausalito mountain bike; and driven a red 1974 Italian Fiat from Turin, where it is no longer made, to the Fiat plant in Warsaw, where he added new white Polish parts before returning the car to Turin.