Dictionary.net

Definitions of break

  1. surpass in excellence; " She bettered her own record"; " break a record"
  2. act in disregard of laws and rules; " offend all laws of humanity"; " violate the basic laws or human civilization"; " break a law"
  3. a personal or social separation ( as between opposing factions); " they hoped to avoid a break in relations"
  4. come to an end; " The heat wave finally broke yesterday"
  5. an escape from jail; " the breakout was carefully planned"
  6. any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare; " the break in the eighth frame cost him the match"
  7. a sudden dash; " he made a break for the open door"
  8. the act of breaking something; " the breakage was unavoidable"
  9. an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity; " it was presented without commercial breaks"
  10. ( tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving; " he was up two breaks in the second set"
  11. the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool
  12. a pause from doing something ( as work); " we took a 10- minute break"; " he took time out to recuperate"
  13. the occurrence of breaking; " the break in the dam threatened the valley"
  14. ( geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other; " they built it right over a geological fault"
  15. interrupt a continued activity; " She had broken with the traditional patterns"
  16. stop operating or functioning; " The engine finally went"; " The car died on the road"; " The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town"; " The coffee maker broke"; " The engine failed on the way to town"; " her eyesight went after the accident"
  17. break a piece from a whole; " break a branch from a tree"
  18. do a break dance; " Kids were break- dancing at the street corner"
  19. enter someone's property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act; " Someone broke in while I was on vacation"; " They broke into my car and stole my radio!"
  20. discontinue an association or relation; go different ways; " The business partners broke over a tax question"; " The couple separated after 25 years of marriage"; " My friend and I split up"
  21. go to pieces; " The lawn mower finally broke"; " The gears wore out"; " The old chair finally fell apart completely"
  22. ruin completely; " He busted my radio!"
  23. break down, literally or metaphorically; " The wall collapsed"; " The business collapsed"; " The dam broke"; " The roof collapsed"; " The wall gave in"; " The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice"
  24. become separated into pieces or fragments; " The figurine broke"; " The freshly baked loaf fell apart"
  25. lessen in force or effect; " soften a shock"; " break a fall"
  26. force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up; " break into tears"; " erupt in anger"
  27. breaking of hard tissue such as bone; " it was a nasty fracture"; " the break seems to have been caused by a fall"
  28. fracture a bone of; " I broke my foot while playing hockey"
  29. be released or become known; of news; " News of her death broke in the morning"
  30. an unexpected piece of good luck; " he finally got his big break"
  31. a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
  32. cease an action temporarily; " We pause for station identification"; " let's break for lunch"
  33. some abrupt occurrence that interrupts; " the telephone is an annoying interruption"; " there was a break in the action when a player was hurt"
  34. weaken or destroy in spirit or body; " His resistance was broken"; " a man broken by the terrible experience of near- death"
  35. diminish or discontinue abruptly; " The patient's fever broke last night"
  36. fall sharply; " stock prices broke"
  37. make submissive, obedient, or useful; " The horse was tough to break"; " I broke in the new intern"
  38. be broken in; " If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress"
  39. of the male voice in puberty; " his voice is breaking-- he should no longer sing in the choir"
  40. render inoperable or ineffective; " You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!"
  41. destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments; " He broke the glass plate"; " She broke the match"
  42. become fractured; break or crack on the surface only; " The glass cracked when it was heated"
  43. happen; " Report the news as it develops"; " These political movements recrudesce from time to time"
  44. prevent completion; " stop the project"; " break off the negociations"
  45. terminate; " She interrupted her pregnancy"; " break a lucky streak"; " break the cycle of poverty"
  46. change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another; " Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children"
  47. come into being; " light broke over the horizon"; " Voices broke in the air"
  48. find the solution or key to; " break the code"
  49. find a flaw in; " break an alibi"; " break down a proof"
  50. undergo breaking; " The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages"
  51. interrupt the flow of current in; " break a circuit"
  52. pierce or penetrate; " The blade broke her skin"
  53. become punctured or penetrated; " The skin broke"
  54. separate from a clinch, in boxing; " The referee broke the boxers"
  55. make the opening shot that scatters the balls
  56. destroy the completeness of a set of related items; " The book dealer would not break the set"
  57. exchange for smaller units of money; " I had to break a $ 100 bill just to buy the candy"
  58. curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves; " The surf broke"
  59. emerge from the surface of a body of water; " The whales broke"
  60. scatter or part; " The clouds broke after the heavy downpour"
  61. make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing; " The ranks broke"
  62. move away or escape suddenly; " The horses broke from the stable"; " Three inmates broke jail"; " Nobody can break out-- this prison is high security"
  63. change directions suddenly
  64. assign to a lower position; reduce in rank; " She was demoted because she always speaks up"; " He was broken down to Sargeant"
  65. invalidate by judicial action; " The will was broken"
  66. cause the failure or ruin of; " His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage"; " This play will either make or break the playwright"
  67. happen or take place; " Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months"
  68. come forth or begin from a state of latency; " The first winter storm broke over New York"
  69. fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns; " This sentence violates the rules of syntax"
  70. give up; " break cigarette smoking"
  71. cause to give up a habit; " She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes"
  72. vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity; " The flat plain was broken by tall mesas"
  73. To strain apart; to sever by fracture; to divide with violence; as, to break a rope or chain; to break a seal; to break an axle; to break rocks or coal; to break a lock.
  74. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a package of goods.
  75. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or communicate.
  76. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.
  77. To interrupt; to destroy the continuity of; to dissolve or terminate; as, to break silence; to break one's sleep; to break one's journey.
  78. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as, to break a set.
  79. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British squares.
  80. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.
  81. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
  82. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as, to break flax.
  83. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.
  84. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a fall or blow.
  85. To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or saddle.
  86. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to ruin.
  87. To destroy the official character and standing of; to cashier; to dismiss.
  88. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder.
  89. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.
  90. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to appear; to dawn.
  91. To burst forth violently, as a storm.
  92. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the clouds are breaking.
  93. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose health or strength.
  94. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my heart is breaking.
  95. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
  96. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait; as, to break into a run or gallop.
  97. To fail in musical quality; as, a singer's voice breaks when it is strained beyond its compass and a tone or note is not completed, but degenerates into an unmusical sound instead. Also, to change in tone, as a boy's voice at puberty.
  98. To fall out; to terminate friendship.
  99. An opening made by fracture or disruption.
  100. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in the deck of a ship.
  101. A projection or recess from the face of a building.
  102. An opening or displacement in the circuit, interrupting the electrical current.
  103. An interruption; a pause; as, a break in friendship; a break in the conversation.
  104. An interruption in continuity in writing or printing, as where there is an omission, an unfilled line, etc.
  105. The first appearing, as of light in the morning; the dawn; as, the break of day; the break of dawn.
  106. A large four- wheeled carriage, having a straight body and calash top, with the driver's seat in front and the footman's behind.
  107. A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction. See Brake, n. 9 & amp; 10.
  108. See Commutator.
  109. To lay bare; to lay open to attack, danger, or anything objectionable; to render accessible to anything which may affect, especially detrimentally; to make liable; as, to expose one's self to the heat of the sun, or to cold, insult, danger, or ridicule; to expose an army to destruction or defeat.
  110. To impart, as news or information; to broach; - with to, and often with a modified word implying some reserve; as, to break the news gently to the widow; to break a purpose cautiously to a friend.
  111. A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction. See Brake, n. 9 & 10.
  112. To separate into parts or pieces by a blow or strain; to force open; as, to break open a door; to interrupt or disconnect; as, to break silence, to break ranks; to fracture, as a bone; weaken or destroy; as, to break a fall; to scatter; with up; ad, to break up a party; to set aside or fail to obey, as a promise or a law; to degrade, as an officer to the ranks; to tell cautiously; as, to break bad news; tame, as a horse; to dig up; as, to break ground.
  113. To separate into parts or pieces suddenly or violently; to begin or change suddenly; to fail, as in health, strength, credit, etc.; to burst; to burst forth violently, as a storm; to be scattered, as clouds; to cease to be friendly ( with).
  114. An opening; an open place; an interruption; a first appearance or marked change; as, the break of day; a pause; a sudden fall in prices; as, a break in the stock market; an abrupt change in the musical quality of a tone; as, a break in a boy's voice.
  115. Broke.
  116. Broken.
  117. Breaking.
  118. 1. A solution of continuity, fracture. 2. The interruption of an electric current. 3. To divide in two or into a number of parts.
  119. To part by force: to shatter: to crush: to tame: to violate: to check by intercepting, as a fall: to interrupt, as silence: to make bankrupt: to divulge.
  120. To part in two: to burst forth: to open or appear, as the morning: to become bankrupt: to fall out, as with a friend:- pa. t. broke; pa. p. broken.
  121. The state of being broken: an opening: a pause or interruption: the dawn.
  122. To come apart; to fall out; to become bankrupt; to appear, as the day.
  123. To part by force; to infringe; to separate; to tame; to make bankrupt.
  124. To make bankrupt.
  125. To separate into parts or fragments, as by a blow; rupture; shatter.
  126. To fail to keep; violate; transgress.
  127. To degrade, as a military or naval officer; cashier.
  128. To disclose cautiously, as ill tidings.
  129. To reduce to discipline; tame.
  130. To become fractured, as by a blow; part; burst.
  131. To change suddenly; dawn, as the day; begin.
  132. To fail; become bankrupt.
  133. Breakable.
  134. A breach; interruption.
  135. A starting or opening out; as, the break of day.
  136. The state of being broken; an opening or breach; an interruption; a line in writing or printing, noting suspension of the sense, or a stop; the first appearance of light in the morning, or the dawn; a drag or appliance to check motion; a strong- built carriage, used for breaking in horses, and training them to draught. To break the back, to ruin; to break the keel; to get through with the most part. To break bulk, to begin to unload. To break cover, to come forth from a lurking- place, as hunted game. To break a deer, to cut it up at table. To break ground, to plough; to dig; to open trenches; to commence an undertaking. To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to destroy with grief. To break a lance, to have trial of skill To break the ice, to overcome the first difficulties. To break in, to tame; to train to something. To break down, to destroy; to overcome; to give way. To break off, to part by breaking; to abandon; to desist suddenly. To break up, to dissolve, or put an end to; to open, or lay open; to separate; to disband. To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel. To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body. To break in, to enter by force: to intrude. To break loose, to escape from captivity; to shake off restraint. To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects; to arise or spring up; to appear in eruptions; to throw off restraint, and become dissolute. To break up, to dissolve and separate. To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends.
  137. To part by force; to rend apart; to rupture; to shatter; to disperse; to weaken or impair; to subdue; to tame or make tractable; to make bankrupt; to dismiss or cashier; to violate, as a law; to interrupt; to intercept; to lessen the force of; to make a first disclosure of, as a scheme or tidings.
  138. To part in pieces; to burst; to show the first light or dawn; to burst forth; to utter or exclaim; to become bankrupt; to decline in health and strength; to force a way; to interrupt friendship; to fall out; to change.
  139. An inclosure for cattle; a bit for horses; a wooden frame for confining the feet of vicious horses in shoeing.
  140. An opening; a rent; a tear; a pause or interruption; a stop.
  141. To separate or divide by force; to rend; to crush; to weaken or impair; to tame or train; to interrupt; to lessen the force of; to dissolve or abandon; to explain or open a matter to any one; to decline in health.
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Quotes of break

  1. You must be in tune with the times and prepared to break with tradition. – James Agee
  2. When I was about to break a world record and become well known, my mother used to say that for her the important thing was for me to become a doctor- a career which had not been possible in her generation and in her society. Sport was something to be set aside. – Roger Bannister
  3. While you're improvising, you may come up with something which will break him up. As soon as that smile comes out, you know that, hey, we're having fun. – Shelley Berman
  4. All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right about face which turns us from failure to success. – Dorthea Brande
  5. To young to hold on and to old to just break free and run. – Jeff Buckley
  6. Somebody will always break your records. It is how you live that counts. – Earl Campbell
  7. Often, the disparities in the ways men and women are treated are subtle; there are not these clear barriers that you have to break down. – Eleanor Clift
  8. My romantically favorite era is 78, 79 listening to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 4, the live tapes, echo chamber and break beats. – Kool Moe Dee
  9. But, I didn't get my first break until I was 17. – Stephen Dorff
  10. We're a very expensive group; we break a lot of rules. It's unheard of to combine opera with a rock theme, my dear. – Freddie Mercury
  11. My father instilled in me the attitude of prevailing. If there's a challenge, go for it. If there's a wall to break down, break it down. – Donny Osmond
  12. It's tough to break into this business- now more so than ever. – LeAnn Rimes
  13. It was trying to break down the stereotypes and it was the kind of thing where, for the first time, women were on a par and not seen as just objects. Though girls were objectified still. – Siouxsie Sioux
  14. As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor's soul must break all precept. All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love. – Edith Stein
  15. For those men who, sooner or later, are lucky enough to break away from the pack, the most intoxicating moment comes when they cease being bodies in other men's command and find that they control their own time, when they learn their own voice and authority. – Theodore White

Usage examples for break

  1. Mary turned to her husband and said with a little break in her voice, " I'm going home, John. – The Story of a Doctor's Telephone--Told by His Wife by Ellen M. Firebaugh
  2. " It's better than an even break that I could get you," said Galloway at last. – The Bells of San Juan by Jackson Gregory
  3. Open the door this minute or I'll break it down! – Dramatic Technique by George Pierce Baker
  4. " I'll see that you get in, if I have to break in a window," he answered. – The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow by Anna Katharine Green
  5. We shall break them. – The Project Gutenberg Plays of John Galsworthy, Complete by John Galsworthy
  6. It will break my father's heart. – The Crisis, Complete by Winston Churchill Last Updated: March 6, 2009
  7. She had a right to break with him. – The Port of Adventure by Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
  8. But Jane had promised to stay a week with a friend who was ill- and she would not break her word. – Jane Oglander by Marie Belloc Lowndes
  9. What will not bend must break – The Golden Age in Transylvania by Mór Jókai
  10. He's like you, you know- he's proud; and it will be there we shall break down. – The Awkward Age by Henry James
  11. And- I'll not break my word, I'll not. – Six Plays by Florence Henrietta Darwin
  12. If we stay here, some one is certain to break in. – A Little Country Girl by Susan Coolidge
  13. I fear, Harry, it will half break our dear old grandada's heart. – The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete by George Meredith Last Updated: March 7, 2009
  14. If you knew how this would,- would,- would break his heart." – The Duke's Children by Anthony Trollope
  15. Come on, break it up.... – Voyage To Eternity by Milton Lesser
  16. Did you break your promise to me? – The Rustlers of Pecos County by Zane Grey
  17. Well, we had to break that up. – Uller Uprising by Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr
  18. What, replied the man, wilt thou break thy word? – Household Tales by Brothers Grimm by Grimm Brothers
  19. You may break your head, but you won't do anything else. – The End of a Coil by Susan Warner
  20. And William said again, " It will break her heart!" – The Awakening of Helena Richie by Margaret Deland

Idioms for