verb (past broke; past participle broken)
1》 separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain.
    ↘(of waves) curl over and dissolve into foam.
    ↘(of the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus) be discharged when the sac is ruptured in the first stages of labour.
2》 make or become inoperative.
3》 interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or journey).
    ↘stop so as to have a rest or holiday: they broke for coffee.
    ↘lessen the impact of (a fall).
    ↘disconnect or interrupt (an electric circuit).
4》 fail to observe (a law, regulation, or agreement).
5》 crush the strength, spirit, or resistance of.
6》 surpass (a record).
7》 (of an attacking player or a military force) make a rush or dash: Mitchell broke quickly, allowing Hughes to score.
8》 (of the weather) change suddenly, especially after a fine spell.
    ↘(of a storm) begin violently.
    ↘(of dawn or a day) begin as the sun rises.
9》 (of a person's voice) falter and change tone.
    ↘(of a boy's voice) change in tone and register at puberty.
10》 (of news) suddenly become public.
    ↘(break something to) make bad news known to.
11》 succeed in deciphering (a code).
12》 use (a banknote) to pay for something and receive change.
13》 (of two boxers or wrestlers) come out of a clinch.
14》 make the first stroke at the beginning of a game of billiards, pool, or snooker.
15》 unfurl (a flag or sail).
16》 Phonetics (of a vowel) develop into a diphthong, under the influence of an adjacent sound.
1》 an interruption or pause: a break with the past.
    ↘Brit. an interval during the school day.
    ↘a short holiday.
    ↘a change of line, paragraph, or page: a page break.
2》 a rush or dash, especially by an attacking player or team.
3》 informal an opportunity or chance.
4》 a gap or opening: a break in the hedge.
5》 an instance of breaking, or the point where something is broken.
6》 (also break of serve or service break) Tennis the winning of a game against an opponent's serve.
7》 Snooker & Billiards a consecutive series of successful shots, which scores a specified number of points.
    ↘a player's turn to make the opening shot of a game.
8》 a short solo or instrumental passage in jazz or popular music.
break one's back (or neck) put great effort into achieving something.
break the back of accomplish the main or hardest part of (a task).
break even reach a point in a business when profits are equal to costs.
breaking and entering (in North American, and formerly also British, law) the crime of entering a building by force to commit burglary.
break a leg! theatrical slang good luck!
break of day dawn.
break someone's serve win a game in a tennis match against an opponent's service.
break ship Nautical fail to rejoin one's ship after absence on leave.
break wind release gas from the anus.
give someone a break informal stop putting pressure on someone.
make a clean break remove oneself completely from a situation.
Phrasal verbs
break away escape from the control or influence of a person or practice.
break down
1》 cease to function or continue; fail.
2》 lose control of one's emotions when in distress.
break in
1》 force entry to a building.
2》 interject.
break something in
1》 accustom a horse to being ridden.
2》 wear shoes until they become supple and comfortable.
break into
1》 enter forcibly.
2》 suddenly burst into (laughter, song, or faster movement).
break something off abruptly end or discontinue something.
break out
1》 (of something undesirable) start suddenly.
2》 escape.
break out in be suddenly affected by an unpleasant sensation or condition.
break something out informal open and start using something.
break up
1》 (of a gathering or relationship) end or part company.
    ↘chiefly Brit. end the school term.
2》 chiefly N. Amer. start laughing uncontrollably.
3》 chiefly N. Amer. become upset.
break with
1》 quarrel or cease relations with.
2》 act in a way that is not in accordance with (a custom or tradition).
breakable adjective &noun
breakage noun
OE brecan (v.), of Gmc origin.
1》 former term for breaking cart.
2》 historical another term for brake2.
C19: perh. from C16 brake 'cage', later 'framework'.

English new terms 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] vt. 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 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • 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

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  • 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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