break [brāk]
broke, broken, breaking [ME breken < OE brecan < IE base * bhreg- > BREACH, BREECH, Ger brechen, L frangere]
1. to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst
a) to cut open the surface of (soil, the skin, etc.)
b) to fracture a bone of
3. to cause the failure of by force or extralegal measures [to break a strike]
4. to make unusable or inoperative by cracking, disrupting, etc.
5. to tame or make obedient with or as with force
a) to cause to get rid (of a habit)
b) to get rid of (a habit)
7. to lower in rank or grade; demote
a) to reduce to poverty or bankruptcy
b) to ruin the chance for success of
c) to wreck the health, spirit, etc. of
9. to surpass (a record)
10. to fail to follow the terms of (a law, promise, agreement, etc.); violate
a) to open or enter by force: now chiefly in break and enter
b) to escape from by force [to break prison]
12. to disrupt the order or completeness of; make irregular [the troops broke formation and ran]
13. to interrupt (a journey, electric circuit, etc.)
14. to reduce the force of by interrupting (a fall, the wind, etc.)
15. to bring to a sudden end [to break a tie]
a) to make or create (a path, way, etc.) as by removing obstructions
b) to cut through or penetrate (silence, darkness, etc.)
17. to make known; tell; disclose
a) to decipher [to break a code]
b) to succeed in solving [to break a criminal case]
19. to make (a will) invalid by legal process
20. to prove (an alibi) to be false
21. to begin; open; start
22. to exchange (a bill or coin) for smaller units
23. to open (a rifle or shotgun) at the breech
24. Tennis to win a game from (an opponent who is serving)
1. to split into pieces; come apart; burst
2. to scatter; disperse [to break and run]
3. to force one's way (through obstacles or resistance)
4. to quarrel; stop associating (with)
5. to become unusable or inoperative; go out of order
6. to suffer a sudden fall in prices, financial condition, etc.
7. to change suddenly, as by a sharp rise, fall, turn, shift, etc. [his voice broke; the hot spell broke]
a) to move away suddenly [the base runner broke for second]
b) to move apart, or withdraw, from a clinch in boxing
9. to move into a gait other than the trot or pace required: said of a horse in harness racing
10. to begin suddenly to utter, perform, etc.: with into, forth in, or out in [to break into song]
11. to come suddenly into being, evidence, or general knowledge [day was breaking; the story broke]
12. to appear suddenly above water, as a periscope, fish, etc.
13. to stop activity temporarily [we broke for lunch]
a) to fall apart slowly; disintegrate
b) to dash apart, as a wave on the shore
15. to suffer a collapse of health, vitality, spirit, etc.
16. to change into a diphthong: said of vowels
17. to curve, dip, or rise near the plate: said of a pitched baseball
18. to begin a game of pocket billiards with a BREAK (n. 13)
19. Informal to happen in a certain way [things were breaking badly]
1. a breaking open or apart; breach; fracture
a) a breaking in, out, or forth
b) a sudden move away or toward; rush; dash
3. the result of a breaking; broken place; separation; crack
4. a beginning or appearance [the break of day]
5. an interruption of a regular or continuous arrangement, action, etc.
6. the result of this; a gap, interval, pause, omission, rest, etc.
7. a breach in friendly relations
8. a sudden change, as in weather
9. an escape, as from prison
10. a sudden lowering or drop, as of prices
11. an imperfection; flaw
12. an unbroken series or sequence, as of points in billiards
13. the opening shot in a game of pocket billiards, in which the cue ball must come into contact with at least one ball in the rack; often, a shot that scatters the racked balls
14. Basketball FAST BREAK
a) a piece of luck, often specif. of good luck
b) an advantage or opportunity
c) exceptional or favorable treatment
16. Music
a) the point where one register changes to another
b) the abrupt change in quality of a voice or instrument at this point
c) in jazz, a brief, usually improvised passage by one band member who continues to play while the others stop
17. Printing
a) a space between paragraphs
b) the place at which a column or page of text stops, to be continued as on another column or page
c) a point at which a word is divided, as at the end of a line
☆ break a leg!
good luck!: said as to a performer, esp. in the theater
break away
to leave suddenly; get away; escape
break down
1. to go out of working order
2. to give way to tears or emotion
3. to have a physical or nervous collapse
4. to crush or overcome (opposition, etc.)
5. to separate into parts; analyze
☆ break even
Informal to finish as neither a winner nor a loser
break in
1. to enter forcibly or unexpectedly
2. to interrupt
3. to train (a beginner)
4. to prepare (something new) by use or wear
break in on or break in upon
1. to intrude on
2. to interrupt
break off
1. to stop abruptly, as in talking
2. to stop being friendly or intimate
break out
1. to begin suddenly
2. to escape suddenly
3. to become covered with pimples or a rash
a) Naut. to bring out of stowage for use [break out the foul weather gear]
b) Informal to bring out (anything) for use
break up
1. to separate; disperse: also, esp. as a command, break it up
2. to take apart; dismantle and scrap
3. to put a stop to
4. Informal to end a relationship
5. Informal to distress or upset greatly
6. Informal to laugh or make laugh uncontrollably
☆ give someone a break
Informal to stop treating harshly, critically, etc.
SYN.- BREAK, the most general of these terms, expresses their basic idea of separating into pieces as a result of impact, stress, etc.; SMASH and CRASH1 add connotations of suddenness, violence, and noise; CRUSH suggests a crumpling or pulverizing pressure; SHATTER, sudden fragmentation and a scattering of pieces; CRACK1, incomplete separation of parts or a sharp, snapping noise in breaking; SPLIT, separation lengthwise, as along the direction of grain or layers; FRACTURE, the breaking of a hard or rigid substance, as bone or rock; SPLINTER, the splitting of wood, etc. into long, thin, sharp pieces. All of these terms are used figuratively to imply great force or damage [to break someone's heart, smash someone's hopes, crush the opposition, shatter someone's nerves, etc. ]

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. {broke} (br[=o]k), (Obs. {Brake}); p. p. {Broken} (br[=o] k n), (Obs. {Broke}); p. pr. & vb. n. {Breaking}.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS. brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to creak, Sw. braka …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. i. 1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder. [1913 Webster] 2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break — ► VERB (past broke; past part. broken) 1) separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain. 2) make or become inoperative; stop working. 3) interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or course). 4) fail to observe (a law, regulation, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • break — vb Break, crack, burst, bust, snap, shatter, shiver are comparable as general terms meaning fundamentally to come apart or cause to come apart. Break basically implies the operation of a stress or strain that will cause a rupture, a fracture, a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break — / brāk/ vb broke / brōk/, bro·ken, / brō kən/, break·ing, / brā kiŋ/ vt 1 a: violate transgress break the law …   Law dictionary

  • break — [n1] fissure, opening breach, cleft, crack, discontinuity, disjunction, division, fracture, gap, gash, hole, rent, rift, rupture, schism, split, tear; concepts 230,757 Ant. association, attachment, binding, combination, fastening, juncture break… …   New thesaurus

  • Break — (br[=a]k), n. [See {Break}, v. t., and cf. {Brake} (the instrument), {Breach}, {Brack} a crack.] 1. An opening made by fracture or disruption. [1913 Webster] 2. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break-up — break ups also breakup 1) N COUNT: usu N of n, n N The break up of a marriage, relationship, or association is the act of it finishing or coming to an end because the people involved decide that it is not working successfully. Since the break up… …   English dictionary

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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