v. broke, bro•ken, break•ing, n.
1) to smash, split, or divide into parts violently
2) to disable or destroy by or as if by shattering or crushing:
I broke my watch[/ex]
3) to violate or disregard (a law, promise, etc.)
4) to fracture a bone of
5) to rupture the surface of:
to break the skin[/ex]
6) to destroy or disrupt the regularity, uniformity, or continuity of; interrupt:
A scream broke the silence[/ex]
7) to put an end to:
to break a tie[/ex]
8) crp to discover the system, key, etc., for decoding or deciphering (a code, cryptogram, etc.)
9) to remove a part from (a set or collection)
10) to exchange for or divide into smaller units:
to break a ten dollar bill[/ex]
11) to make a way through; penetrate:
The stone broke the surface of the water[/ex]
12) to escape from, esp. by force:
to break jail[/ex]
13) to better (a score or record)
14) to disclose or reveal:
They broke the bad news to us[/ex]
15) to solve:
to break a murder case[/ex]
16) to ruin financially; bankrupt
17) to overcome or wear down the spirit, strength, or resistance of
18) to reduce in rank
19) to lessen or weaken the power, impact, or intensity of:
His arm broke the blow[/ex]
20) to train to obedience; tame:
to break a horse[/ex]
21) to train away from a habit or practice (usu. fol. by of)
22) law to contest (a will) successfully by judicial action
23) elm to render (an electronic circuit) incomplete; stop the flow of (a current)
24) spo (in tennis and other racket games) to score frequently or win against (an opponent's serve)
25) to prove the falsity of:
The FBI broke his alibi[/ex]
26) to begin or initiate (a plan or campaign)
27) to open the breech or action of (a shotgun, rifle, or revolver)
28) to separate into parts or fragments, esp. suddenly and violently; shatter; burst
29) to become inoperative or malfunction, as through wear or damage
30) to become suddenly discontinuous or interrupted; stop abruptly
31) to become detached, separated, or disassociated:
to break with the past[/ex]
32) to begin uttering a sound or series of sounds suddenly:
to break into song[/ex]
33) to express or start to express an emotion or mood, esp. suddenly:
Her face broke into a smile[/ex]
34) jou (of a news item) to be released, published, or aired
35) to free oneself or escape suddenly, as from restraint
36) to run or dash toward something suddenly (usu. fol. by for):
He broke for the goal line[/ex]
37) to force a way:
The hunters broke through the underbrush[/ex]
38) to burst or rupture:
A blood vessel broke[/ex]
39) to interrupt or halt an activity:
Let's break for lunch[/ex]
40) to appear or arrive suddenly:
A deer broke into the clearing[/ex]
41) to dawn:
The day broke hot[/ex]
42) to begin violently and suddenly:
The storm broke[/ex]
43) (of a storm, foul weather, etc.) to cease
44) to part the surface of water, as a jumping fish or surfacing submarine
45) to give way or fail, as health, strength, or spirit
46) to yield or submit to pressure, torture, etc.:
to break under questioning[/ex]
47) (of the heart) to be overwhelmed with sorrow
48) (of the voice or a musical instrument) to change harshly from one register or pitch to another
49) (of the voice) to cease, waver, or change tone abruptly, esp. from emotional strain
50) (of value or prices) to drop sharply and considerably
51) to disperse or collapse by colliding with something:
The waves broke on the shore[/ex]
52) ling. phn (of a vowel) to undergo breaking
53) gam to make the opening play in pool by striking the racked balls with the cue ball and causing them to scatter
54) spo (of a pitched or bowled ball) to change direction:
The ball broke over the plate[/ex]
55) spo to leave the starting point in a race:
The horses broke from the gate[/ex]
56) spo (of boxers) to step back or separate from a clinch
57) to take place; occur
58) phv break away
a) to leave or escape, esp. suddenly or hurriedly
b) to sever connections or allegiance, as to tradition or a group
c) to start prematurely, as a horse from the starting gate
59) phv break down
a) to cease to function
b) to become ineffective; fail
c) to cause to collapse or become inoperative:
to break down resistance[/ex]
d) to separate into constituent parts
e) to lose control over one's emotions, esp. to cry
f) to have a complete physical or mental collapse
g) elm (of an insulator) to fail, as when subjected to excessively high voltage, permitting a current to pass
60) phv break in
a) to enter property by force or craft
b) to train or make accustomed to a new situation
c) to wear or use (something new) and thereby ease stiffness, tightness, etc
d) to interrupt
61) phv break into
a) to interrupt
b) to begin abruptly
c) to enter (a business or profession)
d) to enter (property) by force
62) phv break off
a) to sever by breaking
b) to stop suddenly; discontinue:
to break off relations[/ex]
63) phv break out
a) to begin abruptly; arise:
An epidemic broke out[/ex]
b) (of a person) to manifest a skin eruption
c) pat (of certain diseases) to appear in eruptions
d) to prepare for use:
to break out the parachutes[/ex]
e) to take out for consumption:
Let's break out the champagne[/ex]
f) to escape; flee
g) to separate by or into categories
64) phv break up
a) to separate; scatter
b) to put an end to; discontinue
c) to divide or become divided into pieces
d) to dissolve
e) to disrupt; upset:
breaking up the continuity[/ex]
f) (of a personal relationship) to end
g) to end a personal relationship
h) to be or cause to be overcome with laughter
65) phv break with
to sever relations with; separate from:
to break with one's family[/ex]
66) an opening made by or as if by breaking; gap
67) an act or instance of breaking; separation of parts; fracture; rupture
68) an interruption of continuity:
a break with tradition[/ex]
69) a brief rest, as from work
70) a suspension of or sudden rupture in friendly relations
71) an abrupt or marked change:
a break in the weather[/ex]
72) an attempt to escape:
a prison break[/ex]
73) a sudden dash or rush:
Let's make a break for it![/ex]
74) inf a stroke of fortune, esp. a lucky one
75) a chance to improve one's lot, esp. one unlooked for or undeserved
76) inf the breaks, Informal. the way things happen; fate:
Those are the breaks[/ex]
77) sbz a brief, scheduled interruption of a radio or television program, as for a commercial
78) cvb inf relief from an unpleasant or ridiculous situation:
Give me a break![/ex]
79) pro a prosodic pause or caesura
80) a marked change in voice quality or pitch:
a break in her voice[/ex]
81) mad a usu. short solo instrumental passage in jazz or popular music
82) bus a sharp and considerable drop in prices
83) elm an opening or discontinuity in an electronic circuit
84) pri one or more blank lines between two printed paragraphs
85) pri the place, after a letter, where a word is or may be divided at the end of a line
86) pri breaks
suspension points
87) jou the point at the bottom of a column where a printed story is broken off and continued on a subsequent page
88) a collapse of health, strength, or spirit; breakdown
89) gam the opening play in a game of pool, in which the cue ball is shot to scatter the balls
90) spo a change in direction of a pitched or bowled ball
91) spo (in harness racing) an instance of a horse's changing from a trot or pace into a gallop or other step
92) spo a failure to knock down all ten pins in a single frame in bowling
93) spo an act or instance of stepping back or separating from a clinch in boxing
94) min Mining. a fault or offset, as in a vein or bed of ore
Etymology: bef. 900; ME breken, OE brecan; c. OHG brehhan, Go brikan, akin to L frangere; see fragile break′a•ble, adj. n.

From formal English to slang. 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

  • 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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