break down


Senior Member
Hi all what does "break down" mean here?

“What’s that supposed to mean?” My voice rose again. “I get the rest of the story when you finally break down and kill me?”
“I don’t have to break down to kill you. If I’d wanted you dead five minutes ago, you’d have died five minutes ago.”

  • TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    This is an interesting and not uncommon use of "break down".
    It means "decide to".

    The author is playing with the typical meaning of "break down" which would be to "stop forcing yourself NOT to do something".

    Because in the following line the person says "I don't have to break down..."
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