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To discontinue an association, an agreement, or a relationship: The partners broke over a financial matter. One hates to break with an old friend. To diminish or discontinue abruptly: The fever is breaking. To diminish in or lose physical or spiritual strength; weaken or succumb: Their good cheer broke after repeated setbacks. To decrease sharply in value or quantity: Stock prices broke when the firm suddenly announced layoffs.

To come to an end: The cold spell broke yesterday. To collapse or crash into surf or spray: waves that were breaking along the shore. Informal To take place or happen; proceed: Things have been breaking well for them. The result of breaking, as a crack, separation, or opening: a break in the clouds. The beginning or emergence of something: the break of day. A sudden movement; a dash: The dog made a break toward the open field.

An interruption or a disruption in continuity or regularity: television programming without commercial breaks. A pause or interval, as from work: a coffee break. A sudden or marked change: a break in the weather. An often sudden piece of luck, especially good luck: finally got the big break in life.

Informal a. An allowance or indulgence; accommodating treatment: The boss gave me a break because I'd been sick.

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A favorable price or reduction: a tax break for charitable contributions. A severing of ties: made a break with the past; a break between the two families. Printing a. The space between two paragraphs.

A series of three dots The place where a word is or should be divided at the end of a line. Geology A marked change in topography such as a fault or deep valley. Nautical The point of discontinuity between two levels on the deck of a ship. Music a. The point at which one register or tonal quality changes to another. An improvised instrumental solo played in jazz and other popular music while the other musicians stop or play softly. A change in a horse's gait to one different from that set by the rider. Sports The swerving of a ball from a straight path of flight, as in baseball or cricket.

Games The opening shot that scatters the grouped balls in billiards or pool. Games A run or unbroken series of successful shots, as in billiards or croquet.

To separate or detach oneself, as from a group. To move rapidly away from or ahead of a group: The cyclist broke away from the pack. To cause to collapse; destroy: break down a partition; broke down our resolve. To become or cause to become distressed or upset. To have a physical or mental collapse. To give up resistance; give way: prejudices that break down slowly. To fail to function; cease to be useful, effective, or operable: The elevator broke down.

To render or become weak or ineffective: Opposition to the king's rule gradually broke down his authority. To divide into or consider in parts; analyze. To be divisible; admit of analysis: The population breaks down into three main groups. To train or adapt for a purpose. To loosen or soften with use: break in new shoes. To enter premises forcibly or illegally: a prowler who was trying to break in. To begin an activity or undertaking: The Senator broke in during the war years.

To interrupt: "No one would have dared to break into his abstraction" Alan Paton. To begin suddenly: The horse broke into a wild gallop. The child broke into a flood of tears. To enter a field of activity : broke into broadcast journalism at an early age. To separate or become separated, as by twisting or tearing. To become affected with a skin eruption, such as pimples.

To develop suddenly and forcefully: Fighting broke out in the prison cells. To ready for action or use: Break out the rifles! To bring forth for consumption: Let's break out the champagne. To separate or be separated into pieces: She broke up a chocolate bar. The river ice finally broke up. To interrupt the uniformity or continuity of: An impromptu visit broke up the long afternoon.

To scatter; disperse: The crowd broke up after the game. To cease to function or cause to stop functioning as an organized unit or group: His jazz band broke up. The new CEO broke up the corporation. To bring or come to an end: Guards broke up the fight. They argued, and their friendship broke up. To begin a new construction project. To fall into disorder, as a formation of soldiers. Used of the net asset value of a mutual fund, especially a money market fund.

Synonyms: break , crack , fracture , burst , splinter , shatter , smash These verbs mean to become separated into parts or pieces, either by the sudden application of force or by the pressure of internal stress. Break is the most general: That delicate ornament will break easily. The bag held so many heavy things that it broke. To crack is to break without dividing into parts: The building's foundation cracked during the earthquake. Crack can also mean to break apart: "Burning branches crack from trees and fall in showers of sparks at my feet" Suzanne Collins. Fracture applies to a break or crack in a rigid body: Heat and pressure caused the bedrock to fracture.

Burst implies a sudden coming apart, especially from internal pressure: "Even when their bellies seemed about to burst, their mouths craved more and they drank on" Ian McEwan. Splinter implies splitting into long, thin, sharp pieces: The boat's hull splintered when it hit the reef. To shatter is to break into many scattered pieces: The icicle shattered when it landed on the front steps.

Smash stresses force of blow or impact and suggests complete destruction: I dropped the vase, and it smashed into pieces. All of these verbs can also be used transitively that is, they can take a direct object as in break the glass or fracture your arm. See Also Synonyms at opportunity. Military tr chiefly military to demote to a lower rank. Physical Geography intr of waves a. Stock Exchange intr of prices, esp stock exchange quotations to fall sharply. Individual Sports, other than specified intr to make a sudden effort, as in running, horse racing, etc.

Cricket intr cricket of a ball to change direction on bouncing. Cricket tr cricket of a player to knock down at least one bail from a wicket. Horse Racing intr horse racing to commence running in a race: they broke even. Boxing intr boxing wrestling of two fighters to separate from a clinch. Wrestling intr boxing wrestling of two fighters to separate from a clinch. Music, other intr music a. Electronics tr to interrupt the flow of current in an electrical circuit.

Compare make 1 Ecclesiastical Terms Christianity to administer or participate in Holy Communion. Tennis break service tennis to win a game in which an opponent is serving. Education Brit a short period between classes at school.

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US and Canadian equivalent: recess. Stock Exchange esp in a stock exchange a sudden and substantial decline in prices. Tennis tennis Also called: service break or break of serve the act or instance of breaking an opponent's service. Individual Sports, other than specified one of the intervals in a sporting contest.

Horse Racing horse racing the start of a race: an even break. Jazz a. Broadcasting access to a radio channel by a citizens' band operator. Automotive Engineering a variant spelling of brake 1 6.

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Boxing boxing wrestling a command by a referee for two opponents to separate. Wrestling boxing wrestling a command by a referee for two opponents to separate. Old High German brehhan, Gothic brikan, akin to Latin frangere; see fragile ]. Examples: break of folk, ; of honeysuckle, ; Billards. He fell through the window, breaking the glass. He took his foot off the brake.

Switch to new thesaurus. Informal stroke of luck , chance , opportunity , advantage , fortune , opening The rain was a lucky break for the American. To crack or split into two or more fragments by means of or as a result of force, a blow, or strain: fracture , rift , rive , shatter , shiver , smash , splinter , sunder.

To become or cause to become apart one from another: detach , disjoin , disjoint , disunite , divide , divorce , part , separate , split up. Idioms: part company , set at odds. To make a hole or other opening in. Also used with through : breach , gap , hole , perforate , pierce , puncture.

To pass into or through by overcoming resistance. Also used with through : enter , penetrate , perforate , pierce , puncture. To find the key to a code, for example : crack , decipher , decrypt , puzzle out. To make known: carry , communicate , convey , disclose , get across , impart , pass , report , tell , transmit. To be made public: come out , get out , out , transpire. Idiom: come to light. To make or become unusable or inoperative: fail , ruin. To impair severely something such as the spirit, health, or effectiveness of: crush , destroy , overwhelm , ruin.

Cal Crutchlow sixth quickest at German Grand Prix despite leg break

To give way mentally and emotionally. Also used with down : collapse , crack , snap. Informal: crack up , fold. To suddenly lose all health or strength. Also used with down : cave in , collapse , crack , drop , give out , succumb. Idiom: give way. To reduce to financial insolvency: bankrupt , bust , impoverish , pauperize , ruin. Spanish Central: Translation of break. Nglish: Translation of break for Spanish Speakers. Britannica English: Translation of break for Arabic Speakers.

What made you want to look up break? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Whether it's a jaunt or a junket, remember sunblock. You all would not have guessed some of these. Some imitative words are more surprising than others. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. It's a bird? It's a plane? No, I'm really asking. What is it? Test your knowledge of words related to the season of longer days and vacations. Test your vocabulary with our question quiz! Synonyms for break Synonyms: Verb break up , bust , disintegrate , dismember , disrupt , fracture , fragment , rive Synonyms: Noun breath , breather , interruption , lull , pause , recess Visit the Thesaurus for More.

Break and Brake : Remembering Which Is Which It can be hard to apply these words correctly: they sound exactly the same, and their spellings aren't easily connected to their meanings. Examples of break in a Sentence Verb She broke the cup when she dropped it on the floor. Break the chocolate bar into pieces so that everyone can have some. It is easiest to break a chain at its weakest link. A chain will break at its weakest link.

The fall broke his arm. His arm broke in three places when he fell. A bruise forms when a blood vessel breaks under the skin. Noun The tank is reinforced to prevent breaks and leaks. There was a break in the hedge. We waited for a break in the traffic. The fields extend for miles without a break. We chatted during a break in the game. All employees are entitled to two breaks during the workday. We've been working all day without a break. Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jin made his official debut as a part of BTS almost six years ago and since then he's helped the group break records and top music charts.

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