Definition of Break in English :

Define Break in English

Break meaning in English

Meaning of Break in English

Pronunciation of Break in English

Break pronunciation in English

Pronounce Break in English


see synonyms of break


1. break, interruption

some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity

Example Sentences:
'the telephone is an annoying interruption'
'there was a break in the action when a player was hurt'

2. break, good luck, happy chance

an unexpected piece of good luck

Example Sentences:
'he finally got his big break'

3. break, fault, faulting, fracture, geological fault, shift

(geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other

Example Sentences:
'they built it right over a geological fault'
'he studied the faulting of the earth's crust'

4. breach, break, falling out, rift, rupture, severance

a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)

Example Sentences:
'they hoped to avoid a break in relations'

5. break, recess, respite, time out

a pause from doing something (as work)

Example Sentences:
'we took a 10-minute break'
'he took time out to recuperate'

6. break, breakage, breaking

the act of breaking something

Example Sentences:
'the breakage was unavoidable'

7. break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension

a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something

8. break, fracture

breaking of hard tissue such as bone

Example Sentences:
'it was a nasty fracture'
'the break seems to have been caused by a fall'

9. break

the occurrence of breaking

Example Sentences:
'the break in the dam threatened the valley'

10. break

an abrupt change in the tone or register of the voice (as at puberty or due to emotion)

Example Sentences:
'then there was a break in her voice'

11. break

the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool

12. break, break of serve

(tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving

Example Sentences:
'he was up two breaks in the second set'

13. break, disruption, gap, interruption

an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity

Example Sentences:
'it was presented without commercial breaks'
'there was a gap in his account'

14. break

a sudden dash

Example Sentences:
'he made a break for the open door'

15. break, open frame

any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare

Example Sentences:
'the break in the eighth frame cost him the match'

16. break, breakout, gaolbreak, jailbreak, prison-breaking, prisonbreak

an escape from jail

Example Sentences:
'the breakout was carefully planned'


17. break, interrupt


Example Sentences:
'She interrupted her pregnancy'
'break a lucky streak'
'break the cycle of poverty'

18. break, come apart, fall apart, separate, split up

become separated into pieces or fragments

Example Sentences:
'The figurine broke'
'The freshly baked loaf fell apart'

19. break

render inoperable or ineffective

Example Sentences:
'You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!'

21. break

destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments

Example Sentences:
'He broke the glass plate'
'She broke the match'

22. breach, break, go against, infract, offend, transgress, violate

act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises

Example Sentences:
'offend all laws of humanity'
'violate the basic laws or human civilization'
'break a law'
'break a promise'

23. break, break away, break out

move away or escape suddenly

Example Sentences:
'The horses broke from the stable'
'Three inmates broke jail'
'Nobody can break out--this prison is high security'

24. break

scatter or part

Example Sentences:
'The clouds broke after the heavy downpour'

25. break, burst, erupt

force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up

Example Sentences:
'break into tears'
'erupt in anger'

26. break, break off, discontinue, stop

prevent completion

Example Sentences:
'stop the project'
'break off the negotiations'

27. break, break in

enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act

Example Sentences:
'Someone broke in while I was on vacation'
'They broke into my car and stole my radio!'
'who broke into my account last night?'

28. break, break in

make submissive, obedient, or useful

Example Sentences:
'The horse was tough to break'
'I broke in the new intern'

29. break, go against, violate

fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns

Example Sentences:
'This sentence violates the rules of syntax'

30. better, break

surpass in excellence

Example Sentences:
'She bettered her own record'
'break a record'

31. break, bring out, disclose, discover, divulge, expose, give away, let on, let out, reveal, unwrap

make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret

Example Sentences:
'The auction house would not disclose the price at which the van Gogh had sold'
'The actress won't reveal how old she is'
'bring out the truth'
'he broke the news to her'
'unwrap the evidence in the murder case'

32. break

come into being

Example Sentences:
'light broke over the horizon'
'Voices broke in the air'

33. break, break down, conk out, die, fail, give out, give way, go, go bad

stop operating or functioning

Example Sentences:
'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'

34. break, break away

interrupt a continued activity

Example Sentences:
'She had broken with the traditional patterns'

35. break

make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing

Example Sentences:
'The ranks broke'

36. break

curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves

Example Sentences:
'The surf broke'

37. break, damp, dampen, soften, weaken

lessen in force or effect

Example Sentences:
'soften a shock'
'break a fall'

38. break

be broken in

Example Sentences:
'If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress'

39. break

come to an end

Example Sentences:
'The heat wave finally broke yesterday'

40. break

vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity

Example Sentences:
'The flat plain was broken by tall mesas'

41. break

cause to give up a habit

Example Sentences:
'She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes'

42. break

give up

Example Sentences:
'break cigarette smoking'

43. break

come forth or begin from a state of latency

Example Sentences:
'The first winter storm broke over New York'

44. break

happen or take place

Example Sentences:
'Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months'

45. break

cause the failure or ruin of

Example Sentences:
'His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage'
'This play will either make or break the playwright'

46. break

invalidate by judicial action

Example Sentences:
'The will was broken'

47. break, break up, part, separate, split, split up

discontinue an association or relation; go different ways

Example Sentences:
'The business partners broke over a tax question'
'The couple separated after 25 years of marriage'
'My friend and I split up'

48. break, bump, demote, kick downstairs, relegate

assign to a lower position; reduce in rank

Example Sentences:
'She was demoted because she always speaks up'
'He was broken down to Sergeant'

49. bankrupt, break, ruin, smash

reduce to bankruptcy

Example Sentences:
'My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!'
'The slump in the financial markets smashed him'

50. break

change directions suddenly

51. break

emerge from the surface of a body of water

Example Sentences:
'The whales broke'

52. break, cave in, collapse, fall in, founder, give, give way

break down, literally or metaphorically

Example Sentences:
'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'

53. break, break dance, break-dance

do a break dance

Example Sentences:
'Kids were break-dancing at the street corner'

54. break

exchange for smaller units of money

Example Sentences:
'I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy'

55. break, break up

destroy the completeness of a set of related items

Example Sentences:
'The book dealer would not break the set'

56. break

make the opening shot that scatters the balls

57. break

separate from a clinch, in boxing

Example Sentences:
'The referee broke the boxers'

58. break, bust, fall apart, wear, wear out

go to pieces

Example Sentences:
'The lawn mower finally broke'
'The gears wore out'
'The old chair finally fell apart completely'

59. break, break off, snap off

break a piece from a whole

Example Sentences:
'break a branch from a tree'

60. break

become punctured or penetrated

Example Sentences:
'The skin broke'

61. break

pierce or penetrate

Example Sentences:
'The blade broke her skin'

62. break, get around, get out

be released or become known; of news

Example Sentences:
'News of her death broke in the morning'

63. break, intermit, pause

cease an action temporarily

Example Sentences:
'We pause for station identification'
'let's break for lunch'

64. break

interrupt the flow of current in

Example Sentences:
'break a circuit'

65. break

undergo breaking

Example Sentences:
'The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages'

66. break

find a flaw in

Example Sentences:
'break an alibi'
'break down a proof'

67. break

find the solution or key to

Example Sentences:
'break the code'

68. break

change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another

Example Sentences:
'Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children'

69. break, develop, recrudesce


Example Sentences:
'Report the news as it develops'
'These political movements recrudesce from time to time'

70. break, check, crack

become fractured; break or crack on the surface only

Example Sentences:
'The glass cracked when it was heated'

71. break

crack; of the male voice in puberty

Example Sentences:
'his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir'

72. break

fall sharply

Example Sentences:
'stock prices broke'

73. break, fracture

fracture a bone of

Example Sentences:
'I broke my foot while playing hockey'

74. break

diminish or discontinue abruptly

Example Sentences:
'The patient's fever broke last night'

75. break

weaken or destroy in spirit or body

Example Sentences:
'His resistance was broken'
'a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death'

WordNet Lexical Database for English. Princeton University. 2010.


see synonyms of break
verbWord forms: breaks, breaking, broke or broken
to separate or become separated into two or more pieces
this cup is broken
to damage or become damaged so as to be inoperative
my radio is broken
to crack or become cracked without separating
to burst or cut the surface of (skin, etc)
to discontinue or become discontinued
they broke for lunch
to break a journey
to disperse or become dispersed
the clouds broke
7. (transitive)
to fail to observe (an agreement, promise, law, etc)
to break one's word
8. (foll by with)
to discontinue an association (with)
to disclose or be disclosed
he broke the news gently
10. (transitive)
to fracture (a bone) in (a limb, etc)
11. (transitive)
to divide (something complete or perfect)
to break a set of books
to bring or come to an end
the summer weather broke at last
13. (transitive)
to bring to an end by or as if by force
to break a strike
14. (when intr, often foll by out)
to escape (from)
he broke jail
he broke out of jail
to weaken or overwhelm or be weakened or overwhelmed, as in spirit
16. (transitive)
to cut through or penetrate
a cry broke the silence
17. (transitive)
to improve on or surpass
to break a record
18. (transitive; often foll by in)
to accustom (a horse) to the bridle and saddle, to being ridden, etc
19. (transitive; often foll by of)
to cause (a person) to give up (a habit)
this cure will break you of smoking
20. (transitive)
to weaken the impact or force of
this net will break his fall
21. (transitive)
to decipher
to break a code
22. (transitive)
to lose the order of
to break ranks
23. (transitive)
to reduce to poverty or the state of bankruptcy
24. (when intr, foll by into)
to obtain, give, or receive smaller units in exchange for; change
to break a pound note
25. (transitive) mainly military
to demote to a lower rank
26. (intr; often foll by from or out of)
to proceed suddenly
27. (intransitive)
to come into being
light broke over the mountains
28. (intr; foll by into or out into)
to burst into song, laughter, etc
to change to a faster pace
29. (transitive)
to open with explosives
to break a safe
30. (intransitive) (of waves)
a. (often foll by against)
to strike violently
to collapse into foam or surf
31. (intransitive)
(esp of fish) to appear above the surface of the water
32. (intransitive)
(of the amniotic fluid surrounding an unborn baby) to be released when the amniotic sac ruptures in the first stage of labour
her waters have broken
33. (intransitive) informal, mainly US
to turn out in a specified manner
things are breaking well
34. (intransitive)
(of prices, esp stock exchange quotations) to fall sharply
35. (intransitive)
to make a sudden effort, as in running, horse racing, etc
36. (intransitive) cricket
(of a ball) to change direction on bouncing
37. (transitive) cricket
(of a player) to knock down at least one bail from (a wicket)
38. (intransitive) billiards, snooker
to scatter the balls at the start of a game
39. (intransitive) horse racing
to commence running in a race
they broke even
40. (intransitive) boxing, wrestling
(of two fighters) to separate from a clinch
41. (intransitive) music
(of the male voice) to undergo a change in register, quality, and range at puberty
(of the voice or some instruments) to undergo a change in tone, quality, etc, when changing registers
42. (intransitive) phonetics
(of a vowel) to turn into a diphthong, esp as a development in the language
43. (transitive)
to open the breech of (certain firearms) by snapping the barrel away from the butt on its hinge
44. (transitive)
to interrupt the flow of current in (an electrical circuit)
Compare make (sense 27)
45. (intransitive) informal, mainly US
to become successful; make a breakthrough
46.  break bread
47.  break camp
48.  break ground
49.  break one's back
50.  break the back of
51.  break the bank
52.  break the ice
53.  break the mould
54.  break service
55.  break wind
the act or result of breaking; fracture
a crack formed as the result of breaking
a brief respite or interval between two actions
a break from one's toil
a sudden rush, esp to escape
to make a break for freedom
a breach in a relationship
she has made a break from her family
any sudden interruption in a continuous action
62. British
a short period between classes at school
. US and Canadian equivalent: recess
63. informal
a fortunate opportunity, esp to prove oneself
64. informal
a piece of (good or bad) luck
(esp in a stock exchange) a sudden and substantial decline in prices
66. prosody
a pause in a line of verse; caesura
67. billiards, snooker
a series of successful shots during one turn
the points scored in such a series
68. billiards, snooker
the opening shot with the cue ball that scatters the placed balls
the right to take this first shot
69. Also called: service break, break of serve tennis
the act or instance of breaking an opponent's service
one of the intervals in a sporting contest
71. horse racing
the start of a race
an even break
(in tenpin bowling) failure to knock down all the pins after the second attempt
a. jazz
a short usually improvised solo passage
an instrumental passage in a pop song
a discontinuity in an electrical circuit
access to a radio channel by a citizens' band operator
76.  a variant spelling of brake (sense 6)
77. boxing, wrestling
a command by a referee for two opponents to separate

Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers


see synonyms of break
verb transitiveWord forms: broke, ˈbroken, ˈbreaking
to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst
to cut open the surface of (soil, the skin, etc.)
to fracture a bone of
to cause the failure of by force or extralegal measures
to break a strike
to make unusable or inoperative by cracking, disrupting, etc.
to tame or make obedient with or as with force
to cause to get rid (of a habit)
to get rid of (a habit)
to lower in rank or grade; demote
to reduce to poverty or bankruptcy
to ruin the chance for success of
to wreck the health, spirit, etc. of
to surpass (a record)
to fail to follow the terms of (a law, promise, agreement, etc.); violate
to open or enter by force
now chiefly in break and enter
to escape from by force
to break prison
to disrupt the order or completeness of; make irregular
the troops broke formation and ran
to interrupt (a journey, electric circuit, etc.)
to reduce the force of by interrupting (a fall, the wind, etc.)
to bring to a sudden end
to break a tie
to make or create (a path, way, etc.) as by removing obstructions
to cut through or penetrate (silence, darkness, etc.)
to make known; tell; disclose
to decipher
to break a code
to succeed in solving
to break a criminal case
to make (a will) invalid by legal process
to prove (an alibi) to be false
to begin; open; start
to exchange (a bill or coin) for smaller units
to open (a rifle or shotgun) at the breech
24.  Tennis
to win a game from (an opponent who is serving)
verb intransitive
to split into pieces; come apart; burst
to scatter; disperse
to break and run
to force one's way (through obstacles or resistance)
to quarrel; stop associating (with)
to become unusable or inoperative; go out of order
to suffer a sudden fall in prices, financial condition, etc.
to change suddenly, as by a sharp rise, fall, turn, shift, etc.
his voice broke; the hot spell broke
to move away suddenly
the base runner broke for second
to move apart, or withdraw, from a clinch in boxing
33.  US
to move into a gait other than the trot or pace required
said of a horse in harness racing
to begin suddenly to utter, perform, etc.
with into, forth in, or out in
to break into song
to come suddenly into being, evidence, or general knowledge
day was breaking; the story broke
to appear suddenly above water, as a periscope, fish, etc.
37.  US
to stop activity temporarily
we broke for lunch
to fall apart slowly; disintegrate
to dash apart, as a wave on the shore
to suffer a collapse of health, vitality, spirit, etc.
to change into a diphthong
said of vowels
41.  US
to curve, dip, or rise near the plate
said of a pitched baseball
42.  US
to begin a game of pocket billiards with a break (sense 56)
43.  Informal
to happen in a certain way
things were breaking badly
a breaking open or apart; breach; fracture
a breaking in, out, or forth
b.  US
a sudden move away or toward; rush; dash
the result of a breaking; broken place; separation; crack
a beginning or appearance
the break of day
an interruption of a regular or continuous arrangement, action, etc.
the result of this; a gap, interval, pause, omission, rest, etc.
a breach in friendly relations
a sudden change, as in weather
52.  US
an escape, as from prison
53.  US
a sudden lowering or drop, as of prices
an imperfection; flaw
an unbroken series or sequence, as of points in billiards
56.  US
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
57.  US, Basketball
fast break
58.  US
a piece of luck, often specif. of good luck
an advantage or opportunity
exceptional or favorable treatment
59.  Music
the point where one register changes to another
the abrupt change in quality of a voice or instrument at this point
in jazz, a brief, usually improvised passage by one band member who continues to play while the others stop
60.  Printing
a space between paragraphs
the place at which a column or page of text stops, to be continued as on another column or page
a point at which a word is divided, as at the end of a line

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


see synonyms of break
v. broke (brōk), bro·ken (brōkən), break·ing, breaks
1. To cause to separate into pieces suddenly or violently; smash.
a. To divide into pieces, as by bending or cutting: break crackers for a baby.
b. To separate into components or parts: broke the work into discrete tasks.
3. To snap off or detach: broke a twig from the tree.
a. To cause to undergo a fracture of (a bone, for example): The impact of the fall broke his leg.
b. To experience a fracture in (a bone, for example): I broke my wrist when skateboarding.
5. To crack without separating into pieces: broke the mirror.
a. To destroy the completeness of (a group of related items): broke the set of books by giving some away.
b. To exchange for smaller monetary units: break a dollar.
7. To vary or disrupt the uniformity or continuity of: a plain that was broken by low hills; caught the ball without breaking stride.
8. Electricity To render (a circuit) inoperative by disruption; open.
9. To open (a shotgun or similar firearm) at the breech, as for loading or cleaning.
a. To force or make a way through; puncture or penetrate: The blade barely broke the skin.
b. To part or pierce the surface of: a dolphin breaking water.
11. To produce (a sweat) copiously on the skin, as from exercise.
12. To force one's way out of; escape from: break jail.
13. To make or bring about by cutting or forcing: break a trail through the woods.
a. To find an opening or flaw in: They couldn't break my alibi.
b. To find the solution or key to; uncover the basic elements and arrangement of: break a code; break a spy ring.
15. To make known, as news: break a story.
16. To surpass or outdo: broke the league's home-run record.
17. To overcome or put an end to, especially by force or strong opposition: break a deadlock in negotiations; break a strike.
18. Sports To win a game on (an opponent's service), as in tennis.
19. To lessen the force or effect of: break a fall.
20. To render useless or inoperative: We accidentally broke the radio.
21. To weaken or destroy, as in spirit or health; overwhelm with adversity: "For a hero loves the world till it breaks him" (William Butler Yeats).
22. To cause the ruin or failure of (an enterprise, for example): Indiscretion broke both marriage and career.
23. To reduce in rank; demote.
24. To cause to be without money or to go into bankruptcy.
25. To fail to fulfill; cancel: break an engagement.
26. To fail to conform to; violate: break the speed limit.
27. Law To cause (a will) to be invalidated because of inconsistency with state inheritance laws or as a result of other legal insufficiency.
a. To give up (a habit).
b. To cause to give up a habit: They managed to break themselves of smoking.
29. To train to obey; tame: The horse was difficult to break.
1. To become separated into pieces or fragments.
2. To become cracked or split.
3. To become fractured: His arm broke from the fall.
4. To become unusable or inoperative: The television broke.
5. To give way; collapse: The scaffolding broke during the storm.
6. To burst: The blister broke.
a. To intrude: They broke in upon our conversation.
b. To filter in or penetrate: Sunlight broke into the room.
8. To scatter or disperse; part: The clouds broke after the storm.
9. Games To make the opening shot that scatters the grouped balls in billiards or pool.
10. Sports To separate from a clinch in boxing.
11. Sports To win a game on the opponent's service, as in tennis: broke twice in the first set.
12. To move away or escape suddenly: broke from his grip and ran off.
13. To come forth or begin from a state of latency; come into being or emerge: A storm was breaking over Miami. Crocuses broke from the soil.
14. To emerge above the surface of water.
15. To become known or noticed: The big story broke on Friday.
16. To change direction or move suddenly: The quarterback broke to the left to avoid a tackler.
17. Baseball To curve near or over the plate: The pitch broke away from the batter.
18. To change suddenly from one tone quality or musical register to another: His voice broke into a falsetto.
19. Linguistics To undergo breaking.
20. To change to a gait different from the one set. Used of a horse.
21. To interrupt or cease an activity: We'll break for coffee at ten.
22. To discontinue an association, an agreement, or a relationship: The partners broke over a financial matter. One hates to break with an old friend.
23. To diminish or discontinue abruptly: The fever is breaking.
24. To diminish in or lose physical or spiritual strength; weaken or succumb: Their good cheer broke after repeated setbacks.
25. To decrease sharply in value or quantity: Stock prices broke when the firm suddenly announced layoffs.
26. To come to an end: The cold spell broke yesterday.
27. To collapse or crash into surf or spray: waves that were breaking along the shore.
28. Informal To take place or happen; proceed: Things have been breaking well for them.
29. To engage in breaking; break dance.
1. The act or an occurrence of breaking.
2. The result of breaking, as a crack, separation, or opening: a break in the clouds.
3. The beginning or emergence of something: the break of day.
4. A sudden movement; a dash: The dog made a break toward the open field.
5. An escape: a prison break.
6. An interruption or a disruption in continuity or regularity: television programming without commercial breaks.
7. A pause or interval, as from work: a coffee break.
8. A sudden or marked change: a break in the weather.
9. A violation: a security break.
10. An often sudden piece of luck, especially good luck: finally got the big break in life.
11. Informal
a. An allowance or indulgence; accommodating treatment: The boss gave me a break because I'd been sick.
b. A favorable price or reduction: a tax break for charitable contributions.
12. A severing of ties: made a break with the past; a break between the two families.
13. Informal A faux pas.
14. A sudden decline in prices.
15. A caesura.
16. Printing
a. The space between two paragraphs.
b. A series of three dots ( ... ) used to indicate an omission in a text.
c. The place where a word is or should be divided at the end of a line.
17. Electricity Interruption of a flow of current.
18. Geology A marked change in topography such as a fault or deep valley.
19. Nautical The point of discontinuity between two levels on the deck of a ship.
20. Music
a. The point at which one register or tonal quality changes to another.
b. The change itself.
c. An improvised instrumental solo played in jazz and other popular music while the other musicians stop or play softly.
21. A change in a horse's gait to one different from that set by the rider.
22. Sports The swerving of a ball from a straight path of flight, as in baseball or cricket.
23. Sports The beginning of a race.
24. Sports
a. A fast break.
b. The separation after a clinch in boxing.
25. Games The opening shot that scatters the grouped balls in billiards or pool.
26. Games A run or unbroken series of successful shots, as in billiards or croquet.
27. Sports & Games Failure to score a strike or a spare in a given bowling frame.
28. Sports A service break.
29. Variant of brake6.
30. Break dancing.

The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.